Winter is coming……….
As autumn comes to an end and we are head into winter, it is imperative to look after your eyes as well as the rest of the body in the cold and flu season.
One of the commonest problems with winter months is the number of people suffering from dry eyes. This is due to outdoor temperatures decreasing which causes the air to become more colder and drier (less humid). When the air is dry the surface of the eye which is mainly water loses moisture due to evaporation this causes the eye to become dry and produce insufficient tears to keep the eyes moist. It is important to keep our eyes and surroundings moist to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
It is also important in the winter months is to protect our eyes from exposure to the UV rays as exposure to UV rays increases the risk of cataracts and macula degeneration. Sunglasses are therefore not just for the summer months.
tips to keep your eyes healthy during winter
- Keep your eyes moist. Heat or air circulation from a fire or heater can cause dryness and irritation of the eye. keep your distance from direct heat sources like open fires where possible. Consider using an air humidifier where possible.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection. The sun can damage your eyes even when it’s cold outside. Low sun can be uncomfortable too so keep your sunglasses handy.
- Eat foods rich in omega 3 which helps form a healthy tear film to keep your eyes moist. Salmon, tuna and other cold water, pink fleshed fish are a great natural source or consider taking a supplement designed to boost your tear film like Lagad Lacrima.
- Use artificial tears if eyes become uncomfortable. Non preserved are best.
- Hydrating Yourself is the Key. One of the best ways to fight dry eyes during winter is to keep yourself appropriately hydrated. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water every single day to do so. Enough moisture in your eyes means fewer problems for them to run through the cold season.
- Don’t rub! Watery eyes when you are out in the cold can be a pest but resist the temptation to rub them. This can lead to soreness of the eyelids and infections such as conjunctivitis. Keep a clean tissue specially for the purpose and dab rather than scrub at your eyelids.
- Reduce time using Electronic Devices and try the 20:20:20 Rule: Many people tend to spend evenings out in summer, but winter ends up confining most of us indoors. This means your eyes glued to laptops and screens not only through the day, but most of the evening and night as well. All these devices give off dry heat but also are demanding upon the muscles of your eyes. So every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 meters away for 20 seconds.
Sore, watery, burning eyes can make life miserable through the winter.
If you suffer with dry eye and have tried all of these tips to no avail, you maw want to consider a consultation with our dry eye specialist Mr Andrew Price. Please click here to find out more about his dry eye and allergy eye clinics.
Mr Price is available for consultations on Mondays and Saturdays. Please call the practice on 01270 625889 to arrange an appointmen