Autumn seems to be fading out and the cold, darker days of winter are approaching fast. We all know to wrap up warm and how keep our bodies well in winter but many of us forget to pay attention to our eyes and how the harsh conditions can affect them. Here are some simple easy tips on how to give your eyes some TLC this winter.
1. Protect Against the Sun
You might have already put away your sunglasses for next summer but they should be worn all year around. Snow and ice reflects the sun’s UV rays whether you are walking around, skiing or driving. Over exposure to UV rays over a long time can put your eyes at risk from such diseases as age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Also, glare caused by the sun on icy roads can make it harder to see, so you should also make sure you have a pair of sunglasses handy in your car and these should be prescription sunglasses if you wear prescription glasses. Make sure you have regular checks with an eye doctor or eye clinic to keep your glasses and sunglasses up to date.
During the winter months, the air is dryer and the humidity in your home can drop. This dryness can cause your eyes to become dry, or dryer if you already suffer with a dry eye disease. A good way to combat this dry air to is use a humidifier in your home.
3. Keep Hydrated
Even a slight bit of dehydration can impact on the dryness of the eyes and during the winter months the cold can change the body’s thirst cycle and central heating can dry the eyes out even more. Try to increase your fluid intake by drinking water, soup, decaffeinated teas and even eating more fruits and vegetables with a high-water content.
4. Don’t Dry Your Eyes
There are a lot of things you may do in winter that dry out your eyes and these things can be avoided. Try to reduce the high temperate of your central heating if possible, having high heat can cause your tears to evaporate more quickly. Also, if you use a blower heater, such as in the car, try to direct the airflow away from your face or try to warm up using a seat warmer for example. Having dry heat blowing directly in your eyes severely dries them out unnecessary. When you are in a dry environment that you are unable to change the temperate of, such as in an office, make sure you blink plenty to keep your eyes lubricated and use artificial tears if needed. Your ophthalmologist can advise what type of artificial tears are better for you.
5. Watering Eyes?
Many people in the winter months suffer from watering eyes, this can be due to the cold and windy environment. If you go outside and it is very cold and/or windy wear some protective glasses to help and if it is sunny too your sunglasses will help with the cold and wind. For some people over watering eyes can be a symptom of an infection or blocked tear duct, so if you do have any concerns get an appointment at your local eye clinic.
6. Feeling Tired?
In the winter months, there is less natural light which can make certain activities harder, such as reading and writing. This can cause eyestrain which in turn can make your eyes feel tired quicker than normal. If you do find your eyes struggling in low light conditions you could get a lamp and put it close to you while you are carrying out those activities, and always wear glasses if you have been advised to do so by your eye doctor or clinic.