Winter is that time of the year when some people with sensitive eyes face the most problems. Because of the drop in temperature, these people may experience difficulties such as dryness, irritation, itch, migraines, and so much more. To stay safe from the harsh winter weather, here are some eye care tips that will help you get through the season.
7 Winter Eye Care Tips to Protect your Eyes this Season
1. How to Ease Eye Dryness
Dry eyes are what happens as a result when the tear ducts in one’s eyes are unable to produce tears to lubricate the eyes. The sensation is similar to feels when one has not blinked for a long period of time or has watched television or stared at a phone screen for too long. Temperature drops during this time of the year, which means that the air is less humid. This can cause the eyes to dry out with the lack of moisture in the air.
To avoid dry eyes during this time, it is important to keep the heater indoors open to compensate for the cold weather. While sitting by the fire may also help you warm up, this may be harmful to your eyes if the fire’s smoke gets anywhere near.
It is also handy to have eye drops around with you at all times if your eyes are prone to drying. Eye drops give them the moisture they need to prevent them from drying.
Resting them when you can also ease this stress in your eyes. Take time off the screen and find something else to do that won’t strain your eyes as much as being glued to technology.
2. Protection Against Light Sensitivity
Photophobia, or light sensitivity, is a common occurrence for people who already have a pre-existing eye condition. As the name goes, it is when the eyes are extra sensitive to light, especially if it is shown too brightly and hits the eyes directly.
This can be problematic during winter, especially since white snow and Christmas lights decorated around the neighborhood. If your eyes are extremely sensitive, you may have a hard time driving around.
When you’re outside walking, shoveling snow, or doing outdoor chores, or playing some winter sports, you are vulnerable to the brightness and light of the sun that is further reflected by the snow. The simple prevention method is to invest in quality eye protection.
If you are one that enjoys recreational activities in the winter, then you should buy and wear wraparound sunglasses with photochromic lenses.
For leaving the house at a time period of 3 hours or more, you can use any regular pair of sunglasses with UV protection.
3. Avoiding Sunburn or Snow Blindness
Photokeratitis, or commonly known as arc eye or snow blindness, is caused by overexposure to Ultra Violet light from the sun, which is easily reflected by surfaces such as snow and sand. The cornea, which is the transparent outer layer of the eye, is hit by these harmful UV rays directly which is basically giving them a sunburn.
The same prevention goes for this item on the list to the previous one: always protect your eyes. Sunglasses serve a function not only during summer. They are useful for the winter as well.
But if you are experiencing symptoms of snow blindness, which includes but is not limited to burning, itching, blurred vision, and more, it is best to go seek medical attention from professionals. The treatment, when diagnosed with this, can help ease the effects of it.
4. Dealing with Redness and Inflammation
Redness in the eyes manifests when the harsh winter conditions dry out eyes excessively. This could lead to swollen eyelids, some discoloration, and maybe even eye tics or spasms when they become too irritated.
Besides snow blindness, redness can be a result of any seasonal allergy that one may have been hit with.
For swollen eyelids and the redness that comes along with it, you can apply a light compress on these areas. Use a cool compress by taking a damp cloth and applying it gently. You can also try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. If it still does not improve, see a specialist.
5. Managing Excess Tearing
Not all eyes experience the same problems during winter. If dryness is one of the results of the lack of moisture, some people have the opposite problem. The cold air, frosty wind, or seasonal allergies can cause a person to tear up excessively.
Excessive tearing due to anything such as seasonal allergies can go away once you start taking the medication. But if this is not the cause and you are unable to determine the cause of it, consult with an eye care professional on what you can do.
6. Changes in Vision
Changes in the weather can definitely affect your eyes in more ways than one. Blood vessels in and around the eyes could constrict due to the extremely low temperatures. This could cause blurred or double vision.
Stay in warm areas as much as possible. If you had been out in the cold for a long time and your vision becomes impaired, move to a warm location and wait for 30 minutes for it to go back to normal. If it doesn’t, see a specialist. They may give you medicated eye drops in order to help your eyes dilate back to normal sizes.
7. Seeking Medical Attention for Your Eyes
If you are experiencing any of these effects of winter and they no longer become manageable, it is advisable that you see a doctor for proper treatment. Not seeking any professional help may lead to serious lifelong vision problems. The sooner you set out to find treatment, the faster you are able to recover. And if it turns out to be something more serious, at least you have received a proper diagnosis in order to know how to manage it.
If you live around Arizona, then you can seek medical attention from Arizona Retinal Specialists, where patient eye care is their number one priority. With safe operating facilities, you can receive the ideal treatment with a pleasant experience. Contact us to book an appointment now.