The winter season is in full swing! While that comes with many wonderful white, snowy sceneries and fun-filled holidays, it also comes with increased cold and flu symptoms. This can make it extremely important to look after your health during this time of year. There’s another part of your body you need to think about protecting, your eyes.
How the winter affects your eyes
Our most precious sense is often under attack during the winter season in more ways than one. For instance, snow and ice is extremely reflective. This means the sun’s UV rays can reach your eyes from both below and above you, which puts you at greater risk for damaging your eyes. Additionally, in extreme weather, you might find it hard to fully open your eyes while also feeling a burning sensation. In conditions like this, it is possible for your cornea to freeze, which can be very painful and lead to issues with light sensitivity and blurry vision. Another common winter eye issue is excessive tearing; excessive tearing can cause your vision to become blurry which is a common, yet frustrating issue.
One of the most common winter eye issues though is dry eye. Cold temperatures can cause your eyes to lose their natural moisture and become dry, leaving them sore and uncomfortable. Although this condition is not usually serious, there are easy steps you can take to ease your discomfort and keep your eyes healthy this winter!
Common symptoms of dry eye
Watch for these common warning signs of dry eye:
- Burning sensation
- Irritated, scratchy feeling
- Glassy luster to the eye, blurred vision
Tips for protecting your eyes in winter
Treating your eyes right in the winter can be easy! Follow these tips in order to make sure your eyes are as healthy as possible this season:
Lower the temperature in rooms. High temperatures can cause your tears to evaporate, causing dry eye.
Wear sunglasses! If you’re spending time outdoors on a cold, windy day, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from dryness, harmful UV light, and burning eyes.
Drink more fluids. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do to help your body fight off dry eyes. Consider increasing your daily intake of fluids during the winter months.
Use a warm washcloth. A warm, damp compress can actually help your eyes with tear secretion. Do this for two to three minutes per eye to help your eyes create moisture and become less irritated.
Use eye drops. Over the counter or prescription, eye drops can significantly reduce the symptoms of dry eye.
If you still can’t seem to kick your dry eye, make an appointment with us online or call us at (614) 451-7550. At Northwest Eye Surgeons, your healthy eyes are our priority.