The nip in the air has certainly turned frostier. With winter on its way in, it’s time for a wardrobe change – bring out the warm jackets and scarves, not to mention the (faux) fur-trimmed boots. The onset of winter also brings with it some health risks, such as cold and flu, asthma, painful joints and dry skin. However, while you’re protecting your body against these, don’t forget to take care of your eyes as well. Here are 5 winter eye care tips to get you through the season.
With lesser daylight (and sunshine) you might think that you don’t need to worry about wearing sunglasses. Think again! Even though the sun is further away from the earth during winter, the harmful effects of UV rays still persist. Also the sun’s reflection off the fresh snow or ice can damage your eyes. So make sure you put on your sunglasses every time you step outside.
When you’re outdoors and it’s windy, it is quite easy for dirt and tiny debris to get into your eyes. This can cause irritation as well as inflammation. Wear protective goggles when you’re engaging in outdoor activities and sports – including skiing and hiking. Also wear a hat or a hooded jacket to protect your eyes from dust and debris.
Dry No More
Dry eyes is a very common eye complaint during the winter months. The wind and the dry weather is of course a contributing factor. Another cause is the increased use of artificial heat i.e. your indoor heater or a fireplace. Artificial heat reduces the humidity levels in the room, leading to dry eyes that itch, water and burn. If you wear contact lenses, you should be even more wary of dry eyes during winter, as it can cause blurred vision as well as damage to the cornea (in extreme cases). Blinking often is a natural way of keeping your eyes moist. Also using lubricating eye drops is helpful. Consider opting for a humidifier in your home or office, or at least where you spend long periods of time indoors.
With the flu and eye-related ailments such as conjunctivitis on the prowl during the winter months, it’s important to keep your hands clean. Wash them frequently with anti-bacterial soap. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. Keep your eyes clean with purified water or saline solution.
Keep your body (and eyes) hydrated by consuming lots of fluids in form of water, warming soups and fruits & veggies with high water content. Omega-3 acids help ease inflammation in your eyes – a common winter phenomenon. Eat plenty of tuna and salmon, or take a fish oil supplement, to get your required dose of omega-3.
Where to get help
Drop by at your friendly neighbourhood Leightons Opticians store for all your winter eye care needs. Whether you’re looking for designer sunglasses or specialised protective glasses, we have them on offer. While you’re there, take an eye test to make sure that your eyes are in perfect condition, and also check whether your prescription (if any) has changed. Our qualified practitioners at Leightons Opticians will be happy to help you with all the eye care tips you need for the winter months. Happy holidays!