Winter Weather: How to Protect Your Eyes
Cold air, intense winter sunlight, and prolonged hours of staying indoors can harm your eyes. The National Institutes of Health is aware of how challenging the colder months are for people with dry eye syndrome or sensitivities. If you want to find out how to protect your eyes during the onset of winter weather, here’s what you should know.
Dry eye syndrome is common in vulnerable individuals during the colder months. Outside, you have cold, dry air. Once you spend time indoors, you get heated air that tends to be dry, as well. Air that lacks moisture causes eye redness, pain, and irritation. To counter the dryness in your eyes, drink more water, and apply lubricating eye drops. You can also hydrate your eyes more by blinking or using a humidifier. It helps to stay away from the direct path of your heater, as well.
Remove the Glare
When the sun comes out during the colder months, your risk of getting ultraviolet (UV) glare doubles. Aside from the UV rays that shine above you, there are also UV rays that bounce off reflective surfaces like ice and snow. Long-term effects, such as cataracts, result from constant exposure to such glare. Make sure that you wear UV-protective goggles or sunglasses whenever you step outside. If you are driving in low-light environments, wear anti-glare glasses that can tone down the intensity of bright lights from signs and approaching vehicles.
Enhance your optic health by eating foods that are rich in fatty acids. They can help keep your eyes moist. You can also eat more fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. That way, you can battle free radicals that destroy the cells that support your eye structure and function.
Practice Good Hygiene
Be sure to wash your face before you go to bed. This nightly ritual removes accumulated sweat, bacteria, and grime that can affect your optic health in a negative way. If you wear make-up, use your own brushes and never share them. Using another’s cosmetic brushes is an easy way to transmit bacterial and viral infections. See to it that you wash your hands and sanitize them frequently. This is an effective way to protect your eyes and overall health, especially during the current pandemic.
Wear UV-protective Eyewear Even if It’s Cloudy
Studies show that clouds cannot filter UV rays. That is why you should still wear your UV-protective eyewear even during cloudy winter days. To add more protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat, as well. This accessory can prevent UV rays from penetrating your eyes and your facial skin.
Have a Winter Eye Check
You should also go to your optometrist for an eye exam. Your eye care provider can assess your optic health and treat any winter-related eye issues early.
If you follow the mentioned tips, you can protect your eyes and enjoy the winter weather at the same time. At Maple Eye and Laser Center, we are always ready to help our patients manage their seasonal eye problems. For a one-on-one consultation, please see us at our clinics in White Plains (Westchester) and Manhattan, New York. You can also call us at 914-948-5157 to schedule your appointment or for inquiries about our winter eye care and treatment packages.