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Prevent Dry Eyes While Keeping Warm This Winter

Girl Winter Orange Scarf blog imageFor most of us, trying to stay warm in the winter means cozy blankets, big sweaters, and enjoying the benefits of indoor heating. But the use of heaters, as lovely as they are, can contribute to dry eye symptoms. Dry eye is one of the most common eye-health concerns and it’s important to be aware of the risks.  If left untreated, dry eye can worsen and lead to damaged corneas and impaired vision. The Dry Eye Center At Coastal Family Eyecare has years of experience providing specialized treatment for dry eye and offering patients much deserved relief.

Heaters May Lead to Dry Eye

Dry eye also results when the eye either doesn’t produce enough tears or doesn’t produce quality tears to properly lubricate the eye, leading to red, irritated and itchy eyes. Poor quality tears lack the adequate balance of water, mucus, or lipids, leaving the eye insufficiently protected. A heater can, at times, further exacerbate the symptoms.

Heaters, specifically car heaters, can cause dry eyes due to the dry environment they create and the proximity of the blowing air to the eyes. Moreover, the heat leads the tears to evaporate, leaving the eyes unprotected.

Prevent Dry Eye This Winter

While it may be instinctive to switch on the heater upon entering your car, especially if you drive to work in the early morning when it’s coldest, make sure you take these steps to prevent dry eye this winter season.

  • Direct the warm airflow to your body, not your face. We aren’t telling you to turn off heaters altogether, just to make sure the warm air isn’t directly hitting your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses. They’ll shield the eyes from winds, whether cool or warm and prevent tears from evaporating.
  • Keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is not just for the summer! Consuming extra fluids will help keep all parts of the body hydrated, including your eyes. Limit coffee intake, as it can be dehydrating.
  • Remember to blink. We often forget to blink when trying to focus on the road while driving. Being conscientious of this will ensure your eyes remain lubricated and refreshed with every blink.

If you suffer from dry eye or have any questions about your eye health, don’t hesitate to contact us at The Dry Eye Center At Coastal Family Eyecare. We are here for you and are committed to providing you with the relief that you deserve.  Call us today to book your appointment. Happy winter!

The Dry Eye Center At Coastal Family Eyecare provides dry eye relief and treatment to patients from Pensacola, Orange Beach, Tallahassee, Mobile, and throughout FL.



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Dear Patients,

As of Tuesday evening, March 17th, the CDC has recommended that all routine eye care be deferred until further notice, in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19 through our community.

Please be assured that we are still available to triage all urgent and emergent calls during this challenging time.

We are officially closing our offices effective at 3:00pm today, March 20 th and tentatively plan to reopen on April 1 st . We are rescheduling all routine visits and are available by phone to triage ocular emergencies.

Our phone lines will be open:

Monday the 23 rd and 30 th : 10:00am to 5:00pm

Tuesday-Friday (24 th -27 th and the 31 st ): 9:00am to 3:00pm

What does this mean?

1) If you are scheduled for an annual eye examination we will tentatively reschedule you starting April 1 st

2) If you are running out of a medication please contact us and we can transmit a refill electronically to your pharmacy.

3) If you have an issue which cannot wait for an office visit, contact us and we will schedule a Telephone appointment with one of our doctors. Medicare has temporarily relaxed its telehealth rules to allow this type of communication during the pandemic crisis. Other insurers may follow suit and allow for reimbursement of virtual care costs. The consultation must be initiated at your request.

4) If you have an ocular emergency we are, as always, available to help you at any time. Call 1-850-455-0120 andwait for instructions at the end of the message.

Dr. Leonard or Dr. Charbonneau will discuss your condition by phone and make the best treatment decision for you on a one on one basis.

5) Please remember that 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild and resolve within a week. However, if you feel your symptoms are worsening, call ahead before visiting your doctor’s office or emergency department and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

The CDC has many wonderful resources. Arming yourself and your family with clear information will help you avoid undue stress.

https://bit.ly/2WxWYIe and https://bit.ly/33FBlXZ

Together we will weather this storm.

With sincerest wishes for your continued good health we remain at your service,

Dr. Clare L Leonard

Dr. Mary Charbonneau