As winter arrives, many of us take precautions to protect ourselves from the cold and boost up our immune system to fight against another flu season. However, winter weather can also pose great risks to your eyes and vision. Vision health does not take a holiday break, so we are here to offer you a few simple but effective tips on how to take care of your eyes this winter.
Before we get into eye care, we want to introduce you to some factors that can greatly impact your vision this winter.
- Outdoor Air – As the temperatures drop, the air becomes colder and much drier compared to the rest of the year. Winter winds can be especially dehydrating for both the skin and eyes.
- UV Radiation – Excessive UV exposure is present throughout the entire year. Sunglasses are considered a must-have accessory during the summer, but it’s important to protect your eyes during the winter, too! Snow and ice can reflect nearly 80% of the UV rays into the eyes, making the winter months just as bad as the summer.
- Indoor Air – The cold air outdoors is not the only nuisance for your eyes. Warm, dry air blasting from heater vents of cars and homes also pose a threat of dehydration to the skin and eyes.
Warm and dry air combined with low-humidity cold winds can contribute to dry eyes. Dry eye occurs when a person does not have enough tears to lubricate and nourish their eyes. Tears provide lubrication and protection to your eyes, so it is important to keep them moist, especially during the winter. Have no fear though, we are here to provide you relief!
Our winter tips to you…
Regulate room temperatures and humidity levels
Dryness in the air is ever-present during the winter, whether you are indoors or outdoors, so it’s important to regulate your temperature. Be mindful of your surrounding air temperature and try to maintain moisture levels by using a humidifier to keep your eyes and skin comfortable.
Protect your eyes
As mentioned above, UV rays are harmful to your eyes year-round. It is important when you are outside to carry a pair of UV protected sunglasses. If you are planning on indulging in winter sports, safety snow goggles are great protection from UV rays and harsh, cold winds.
One of the best ways to fight dry eyes during the winter is to keep your body hydrated. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day can help to keep enough moisture in your body and eyes. Eye drops or artificial tears can also help to relieve dry as well. Be sure to ask your optometrist which drops are best for you.
Avoid the Germs
Along with the bitter winds of winter comes the peak of cold and flu season. There are several illnesses and viruses that can be transmitted from our hands to our eyes, making it more important than ever to avoid rubbing or touching your eyes until you have clean hands. Nobody wants conjunctivitis as a holiday present!
It’s important to protect your vision all year long, regardless of seasons and breaks! For more information on how to protect your vision this winter, please contact Yakima Vision Center today.