During winter, most people take special care of their skin, but few are aware that it’s equally important to pay attention to their eyes. Though you may think that summer is the only time you need to protect the eyes from the glaring heat, it is equally important to keep your eyes protected in winter. The freezing air in this season sucks moisture from your body, including the eyes. It can dry out and irritate the eyes, and winter can be especially difficult for people who are already suffering from chronic eye issues or itchy eyes. In winter, you need to protect your eyes from cold dry air and germs that come with the season and cause eye-related issues.
Here are ten ways to protect your eyes in winter:
- Use UV Protected Sunglasses: Irrespective of the season, the sun’s UV rays are harmful to the eyes. Excessive UV exposure from direct sunlight can increase the risk of cataracts and also skin cancer. Though you may not get sunburns in winter, excessive UV exposure can occur due to reflection from snowy surfaces. Sun glare from snow can actually burn unprotected eyes and cause snow blindness, a painful condition that results in sensitivity to light. Symptoms can last up to a week. To avoid this, experts recommend wearing sunglasses and sunscreens during prolonged outdoor activities.
- Blink Excessively: If you have dry eyes, it can worsen when you engage in activities that need dedicated visual attention like reading or using computers. Your blinking slows down during this period, and the only way to resolve this is to blink more. Blinking will help the eyes to continue producing enough lubrication to maintain moisture. Creating artificial tears can also keep your eyes comfortable.
- Have Eye Drops Handy: To overcome the problem of dry air affecting your eyes, keep eye drops handy. Use the eye drops when you feel your eyes are getting dry. See your doctor if the condition is very painful or persistent.
- Use Humidifier: Defying the requirement of heating systems in winter is impossible, but they also result in moisture loss in the air and reduce indoor air quality. This increases the chances of getting dry eyes. Using a humidifier will help by maintaining ample levels of moisture in the air without hindering your indoor heating.
- Use Accessories to Protect your Eyes: Hoodies, wraparound sunglasses, and brimmed hats can protect the eyes and face from the cold wind. Using protective gear will prevent tear film from evaporating, which is the reason for dry, itchy eyes.
- Protect yourself against Infection: At this time of the year, conditions like cold, flu, conjunctivitis and herpes have a significant presence. Your eyes can get infected if you don’t maintain proper hygiene. To avoid that, practice good habits. Wash your hands well before touching your eyes. Don’t share eye make-up to avoid catching fungal infection.
- Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to fight dry eyes during winter. Experts recommend drinking 8 glasses of water a day to do so. Hydrating from within means fewer eye problems during the season.
- Eat Nutritious Food: Staying strong from inside is another way to protect your eyes. Eat nutritious food to build immunity. Include carrots and spinach in your diet to keep your eyes healthy.
- Stay away from Direct Heat: When you warm up by a fire, avoid spending too much time in front of it. The heat can cause your eyes tear film to evaporate. It leaves the surface of your eye vulnerable to drying out.
- Visit your Optometrist: A good way to protect your eyes is by scheduling an appointment with your optometrist. The doctor will test your vision, diagnose vision problems, treat eye conditions if any, and provide recommendations to manage vision changes. Your optometrist will provide proper instructions on how to care your eyes.
During winter, the dry air and the glare from the sun glare can damage your eyes and affect your eyesight. Following these measures can protect your eyes from within and outside and help avoid eye-related problems.