Do I really need a humidifier?

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Living in New York, the seasons change and as we approach the Winter months, things get dryer. You don’t notice at first; there is some itching and cracking skin, your hair loses some of its shine and luster, your lips stick together…but add that winter wind and you know DRY season has arrived. The block where I live is particularly windy, at times causing me to imitate a fanciful kite as the wind lifts me off my feet leaving me precariously tethered to my mom by a small and thankfully powerful leash!

I take all this change in stride, knowing mom is athletic and will protect me. As for the dryness, I have been given extra portions of egg yolk and some omega 3’s to keep the gears running smoothly. I’m definitely feeling the love.

As for my Mom, she has been experiencing dry eye recently since besides the dry air, heaters, wind, smoke, hours at the computer screen, she spends every day in the pool. There she contends with the warm air they pump in and the terrarium like environs of the chlorine. Since the bubbled dome is open in the Summer, the chlorine gasses can escape but in the Winter, everything stays and hangs in the measured air leaving those sensitive to it, at a disadvantage. She is one Purell type gal, her OCD tendency at cleanliness leaving her happy for the purification, but sad at the cost. Repetitive exposure has left her eyes burning, so we had to do some research to find a solution.

We learned that the eye has an oily layer, a watery layer and a mucous layer, if the combination is out of balance it will cause problems. In mom’s case, she was tearing excessively, so much so that the tears were blurring her vision. How can all this water be dry eye?  But what was later explained was that the eye was so dry it was sending messages for tears but the tears were not arriving balanced with oil, water and mucous levels so the water was not adhering and protecting the eye. Liken it to a car that has been waxed and the beads of water just roll off – now imagine my mom’s eye – yikes. Such a conundrum!

She has now been advised to use an artificial tears type eye drop – not chemical or blood vessel constricting eye drops such as Visine – because she needs the balance to be restored, and only artificial tears helps with that.  She is to do that 3x a day and add warm compresses to eyes at night. She also has to remember to blink more at the computer screen as staring at a screen without blinking is common, and a big factor in contributing to dry eye.

Knowledge is power, I’m so glad we researched this further. Now we both sit at our desks, writing away and every so often, looking at each other and blinking or winking or both – it’s fun. Pass the moisturizer please.

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