Protect your eyes during the winter months, the eyes are at greater risk. Cold and wind can cause drying of the eyes, and a reduced level of humidity in the air can lead to deterioration of visual acuity. Also, winter days are shorter and darker, which can lead to increased eye strain. To keep your eyes healthy during the winter, there are some steps you can take.
How does the cold affect the health of our eyes?
The cold can dry out the eyes, which can cause discomfort and redness. This usually happens due to low humidity during colder days, which can cause water to evaporate from our eyes. The cold can also cause bleeding from the capillaries in the eyes , which can lead to red eyes and the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes. There can also be reduced blood flow in the skin around the eyes, which causes the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. If you are in colder conditions, it is important to take care of your eyes and protect them from the cold in order to avoid such problems. You can do this in a couple of ways.
How to protect your eyes during winter?
It is important that you drink enough water to keep your body sufficiently hydrated. Dry air in closed spaces can dry out the eyes, which can lead to an increased risk of infections. Drinking enough fluids can help keep your eyes hydrated.
It’s also a good idea to use moist eye tissues or nasal inhalers to keep the air around your eyes moist. You can buy these products at a pharmacy or health supply store.
Wear safety glasses when you are outdoors , especially if it is cold or windy outside. Sunglasses not only help protect you from UV radiation, but also from wind and cold. This will help to protect the eyes from dryness and irritation.
Pay attention to the climate in the room: Dry air in closed spaces can also lead to dry eyes. To avoid this, pay attention to the climate in the room and try to maintain humidity at a level of at least 50 percent.
10 Eye Care Tips For Winter
Winter has arrived, meaning more time indoors, more screen time and increased exposure to heaters. All these things have implications on your eye health, which is why we have put together 10 tips to protect your eyes this winter.
1. Regulate the temperature indoors
Heaters set to high temperatures can cause or aggravate existing dry eyes issues in winter. We recommend setting your heater to a consistent mild setting, to ensure your eyes retain as much moisture as possible.
2. Remember to blink!
Activities such as reading or using a digital device often slow down our blinking; it’s something that simply happens when we are visually focused on something. To offset the effects of reduced blinking (dry or irritated eyes), make an effort to blink more during these activities, to ensure the eye has enough lubrication.
3. Try a humidifier
It’s not possible to simply not use a heater during winter – Melbourne is too cold for that! But you might want to consider using a humidifier. Not only will it increase moisture in your indoor air, but it will also improve the quality of that air.
4. Artificial tears can help
If dry eyes continue to bother you, book an appointment with us for a check-up. We may recommend artificial tears to assist by adding moisture to the eye.
5. Add cold-water fish to your diet
Coldwater fish includes tuna, mackerel and halibut. These fish contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are known to help your eyes retain moisture. Adding these into your diet during winter can aid in protection against dry eyes.
6. Keep your eyes hydrated
We all know we need to drink eight glasses of water a day. But did you know this also impacts your eyes? By keeping your body hydrated you help your eyes stay hydrated during the winter season.
7. Wear sunglasses with high UV protection
Though clouds may block out the sun during winter, UV rays still filter through. Do you notice how often on a cloudy day you still experience a glare?
When practical we recommend wearing sunglasses when outdoors, ensuring they are sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection. If you’re in-store looking for a new pair of sunnies, ask about UV protection.
8. Don’t forget to protect your eyes when visiting the snow
High-speed winds and UV reflection off the snow means that a pair of quality goggles is essential, whether you’re skiing, snowboarding or just playing around. Look out for ones with built-in UV protection.
9. Keep your eyes clean
Some everyday tips to keep your eyes clean include:
– washing your face at the end of every day, including removing makeup
– not sharing makeup brushes or applicators, and making sure to clean these and not use expired make-up
– keeping your hands away. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can lead to the transfer of bacteria.
10. Use the 20-20-20 rule while on screens
Incorporate the 20-20-20 rule into your daily routine when spending time on digital devices, especially if you work an office job where you’re on a computer 9-5.
- Take a break every 20 minutes
- Find an object 20 feet away
- Look at it for 20 seconds
For more eye care tips, check out our post on How to Improve Eyesight