We aren’t far off from the winter season being fully upon us. With all the joy that wintertime brings to many people, it would be disappointing to face unnecessary eye irritation or other problems. Here, we discuss a few ways that people of all ages can protect their eyes in the winter months.
UV Protection: It Isn’t Just For Summer
Cloudy or not, the snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays. Many people wear sunglasses in the summertime but are not as strict about this habit when the weather cools. The fact is, regardless of how hot or cold it is, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are present, and they are damaging to the eyes. Whether you are out for some time on the slopes or just running errands, your eyes will thank you for wearing some shades all year round.
Keep Your Eyes Moisturized
It isn’t only our skin that can get dry and rough during the wintertime. Our eyes can, as well. This can happen because the atmosphere tends to be drier this time of year. Then, when we crank up the heat indoors to get more comfortable, the air inside also becomes dry. There are several ways to prevent seasonal dry eye. Depending on the severity of symptoms, people may try one or more of the following:
- Apply over-the-counter eye drops before going outdoors or as needed indoors. A standard eye drop is sufficient. There is no need to use an anti-redness drop.
- When possible, sit farther away from fans and heat sources.
- Add humidifiers to the rooms most commonly used, as well as the office, to offset the drying effects of indoor heat.
- Wear eyeglasses more than contact lenses if symptoms of dry eye develop, such as a gritty sensation.
Only Touch the Eyes with Clean Hands, and Only When Absolutely Necessary
Due to the increased risks of getting the flu, or worse, at this time of the year, it is essential to practice excellent hand and face hygiene. We should not touch our nose or eyes if we can help it. If we must, we should wash our hands first. Doing so reduces the risk of passing germs or viruses we’ve picked up from an infected surface to the eyes.
Your eye health is affected by the change in seasons and your daily habits. If you have questions about ophthalmic symptoms or would like to schedule a routine ophthalmic exam, contact our Skokie, IL office at 847-677-2794.