How To Look After Your Eyes During The Colder Months
The cold weather is creeping up on us - prepare for months of layered clothing, warm drinks, festive cheer and staying indoors.
Whether you love the winter months or not, absolutely everyone should take their eye health seriously during these testing times. Temperature drops can cause problems associated with dry eyes due to the lack of moisture in the air. Dry eyes can lead to further problems such as irritation, itchiness, blurred vision and so on.
This guide will take you through how to look after your eyes during the colder months so that you can prevent dry eye from occurring.
Eye Care Tips For The Cold Weather
Take all of the following tips into consideration this winter to ensure your eyes remain hydrated and healthy.
1. Use Eye Drops
If you frequently suffer from dry eyes during the colder months, it’s wise to keep lubricating eye drops on you at all times. These eye drops restore the moisture in your eyes both quickly and safely, saving you from spending the whole day irritated.
Moisturising eye drops can be purchased over the counter, however, if your problem persists, consider visiting your optician for further information. There may be a more serious underlying condition that needs seeing to.
2. Keep Your Eyes Clean
Eye irritation tends to occur when you have dirt or grit in your eyes. So, although it might sound silly, keeping your eyes clean is key. This is particularly important during the festive months when we get more experimental and care-free with make-up and face paint.
To keep your eyes clean, wash your face thoroughly at the end of each day, removing any make-up or grime around your eyes. Be gentle when doing so - you don’t want to cause further irritation.
If you are a make-up wearer, clean your brushes regularly. You’ll be surprised to learn just how much bacteria builds up when you don’t wash them.
3. Use Humidifiers
Turning up the heating may seem super cosy during the cold months, but you may not realise that doing so sucks a lot of moisture from the air. This, in turn, results in dry eyes; even in the comfort of your own home!
To regain some moisture in the air, consider using a humidifier. Humidifiers give you the best of both worlds; you can continue to enjoy your warm heating without having to worry about the health of your eyes.
4. Monitor Your Diet
Comfort foods come out in full force during the colder months; from never-ending roasts to hot chocolates, we’re all guilty of piling on the pounds at this festive time of year.
While there’s no harm in enjoying all of the comforting warm foods out there, it’s still important to monitor your diet during winter. Your body will forever thank you for eating healthy foods, and believe it or not, your eyes will benefit too.
Pack plenty of fish into your diet. Coldwater fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids which are great for eye health. Combine this with drinking at least 8 cups of water a day and you’ll remain both hydrated and healthy.
5. Wear Sunglasses
Just because the weather is colder, doesn’t mean the sun disappears. Your eyes are still at risk from UV damage, particularly when the bright white snow creates that blinding glare.
To prevent yourself from UV damage, continue to wear sunglasses with an effective UV filter during the colder months. Check that your contact lenses have a UV filter, too.
6. Try Silicone Hydrogel Lenses
If you wear monthly contact lenses but struggle with dry eyes during the cold months, it might be time to switch to an alternative brand. As contact lens experts, we recommend switching to silicone hydrogel contact lenses. These types of lenses are made from a far softer material, allowing up to five times more oxygen to reach your eyes. This promotes hydration, ensuring a comfortable and moist experience all day long. The most popular silicone hydrogel lenses are acuvue moists and acuvue oasys.
7. Avoid Driving At Night
Driving at night isn’t always enjoyable, especially when the roads are poorly lit and passing traffic keeps their full beam on. While we understand that driving at night can’t always be avoided, it’s wise to consider alternative forms of travel so that your eyes don’t suffer from too much straining. This is particularly the case during icy weather conditions.
8. Take A Break From Screens
It’s no secret that long exposure to digital screens can result in eye strains and dry eyes. With the risk of developing dry eye heightening during cold months, it’s wise to take a break from your screens as much as possible. Take a break every 20 minutes or so and try and limit yourself to a certain amount of screen time a day.
Don’t Shy Away This Winter
The winter months aren’t everyone's cup of tea, but either way, your health should always be top priority. With the eight tips mentioned in this guide, you’ll successfully be able to prevent dry eyes and have one less thing to worry about this winter.
For more information regarding eye health, get in touch with our experts or check out our optical advice today.