When the cold weather hits it is easy to remember to get out your scarf to protect your face, gloves to keep your fingers warm and boots to keep your feat warm and dry. But don’t forget about cold winter weather and your eyes!
Cold winter winds and central heating can play havoc with your eyes leaving them feeling dry, gritty, and sore – especially at the end of the day when symptoms are often at their worst. Cranking up your central heating can also trigger conjunctival hyperaemia (blood shot eyes).
Beat dry eye this winter by:
- Reducing the setting on your central heating, protecting your eyes from the wind; avoiding car heaters, particularly at face level and sitting away from direct heat such as gas or electric fires.
- Cutting back on your coffee consumption and using therapeutic drops can also help reduce symptoms of dry eye. (See your optometrist at Taylors for advice regarding the best dry eye drops to use).
Respiratory infections such as common colds and flu can inflame your conjunctiva (the clear membrane that covers the whites of your eyes) leaving your eyes feeling sore and irritated. Prevent cross infection from bacteria in coughs and colds by washing your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes.
Don’t put away your sunglasses just yet! Sunglasses provide valuable protection for your eyes all year-round, not just in the summer months. Cumulative damage caused by unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can increase your risk of suffering sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Eye health experts recommend that you wear sunglasses whenever the UV Index rises above three – this can occur even on a cloudy day, so keep an eye on the Met Office’s UV forecast.
Snowy conditions double the amount of UV radiation getting into your eyes as it reflects from the ground as well as above, so sunglasses are particularly important after snow. Goggles with UV protection built in should be worn for maximum protection when enjoying winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding.
Leafy greens provide vital nutrients (lutein and zeaxantin) to help keep your eyes healthy so now that salad days are over make sure you eat plenty good green winter veg like kale, cabbage and spinach.
Winter is also a great time to get your sight tested as poor light conditions can mean your eyes have to work harder, making them more susceptible to fatigue and eye strain. To book your eye examination contact us on 02838 394000 and look after your eyes this winter.