Shielding our body from the cold is a big deal during wintertime. We cover up nearly every part of our body, from our neck to our toes, in an attempt to battle cold weather worries. However, a part that most of us forget is our eyes. They are particularly prone to issues caused by the cold, and they deserve some special attention from us during the winter. Let’s look at some of the bigger winter eye concerns and tips for combating them.
Cold Weather Eye Concern: Dry air
Cranking up the heater can mean that there is less moisture in the air. This can lead to eye dryness, which is the number one winter eye complaint. Excessive dryness can eventually damage the cornea and lead to blurred vision, so treating it is important. Try these tips to keep your eyes from feeling dry and itchy.
- Drink plenty of water: keeping your body hydrated at the cellular level is important
- Use eye drops: artificial tears and other eye lubricants can relieve dry, irritated eyes
- Get a humidifier: this can add some moisture back into the air and relieve your dry eyes
Cold Weather Eye Concern: Bright sunlight
Protecting our eyes in summer is like second-nature, but many people forget that it’s just as important in the winter. UV rays are still present, and when the rays bounce off of the snow, they can be twice as dangerous. The goal with winter eye protection is to avoid Keratitis, which is a condition where UV damage causes redness, irritation, and light sensitivity. Follow these tips to keep your eyes from getting burned.
- Wear sunglasses: this is the best way to shield your eyes while outdoors
- Limit time outside: this is the easiest way to limit the UV exposure of your eyes
- Be cautious at high altitudes: if you enjoy skiing or other winter sports, be mindful that UV rays are even stronger at higher altitudes
Cold Weather Eye Concern: Injury
Our eyes have a lot coming at them in winter: precipitation, slush, gravel, and tree branches just to name a few. Eye injury due to a foreign object entering the eye is a concern for those who are active during the winter months, so don’t forget these tips as you venture out.
- Wear goggles: this is the best way to shield your eyes from damage (tinted goggles are a bonus because they shield the eyes from matter, as well as UV rays!)
- Practice common sense: don’t engage in an activity that could easily result in eye injury, such as snowball fights or skiing down a path with many branches
Cold Weather Eye Concern: Infection
Viruses, bacteria, and other organisms are prevalent during the winter. Not only are we more likely to get a cold or the flu, but we’re at greater risk of getting an eye infection. Untreated infections are not only uncomfortable, but they could lead to serious vision problems. Practice these tips to keep your eyes unharmed.
- Wash your hands: simple hygiene goes a long way towards preventing eye infection
- Don’t rub your eyes: this could introduce bacteria into the eyes
Don’t Let the Cold Weather Steal Your Sight
Following these simple tips can help you avoid any winter eye issues. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we find ourselves with an eye problem. Seeking help from a medical professional is important to keep these eye problems from causing serious vision damage. The doctors and staff at Advanced Eye Medical have expert knowledge to battle a variety of cold weather eye concerns. Schedule your consultation today and experience the coolness of great vision.