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Seven Ways to Look After Your Eyes This Winter


Have you ever experienced itchiness or extra tears in your eyes during the colder months? If yes, we want you to know that you’re not alone. Consultant Ophthalmologist Mr Sanjay Mantry tells us how to look after our eyes in the colder months.

People think that the only protection they need to give their eyes is from the sun during bright summer days. However, whether you actively notice it or not, the sun still shines during even the coldest of winters days, making the need to protect your eyes from UV rays a continuing priority. That said, the sun’s UV rays are not what causes the itchiness or the tearing up that so many experience during the colder months. These symptoms are caused by dryness in the eyes, and it can particularly affect those who wear contact lenses.

During the winter, the air tends to get dryer, thus reducing the moisture in your eyes. Add to that the cold winds and the drying indoor heating solutions most people are exposed to, and you have the perfect formula for eye discomfort. This discomfort is made even worse when people start rubbing their eyes for instant relief, as they could in turn end up scratching their eyes or making their symptoms much worse.

In some cases, dry eyes make people feel like they have a foreign object stuck in their eyes. In others, they tear up constantly as a way of overcompensating for the lack of moisture in the eyes. Either way, your eyes are one of the most delicate parts of your body, and we have created a list of eye-care tips for you to keep in mind this winter.

1. Wear sunglasses: Yes, even if it’s not a traditionally sunny day. According the British charity Eye Health UK, your eyes could be under the danger of UV damage even on cloudy days.
2. Use eye drops: In order to maintain the moisture level in your eyes, using eye drops a couple of times a day can be very effective. Not only that, it also helps kill any germs your eyes may have come in contact with in case you’ve been rubbing or touching them due to irritation.
3. Reduce your indoor heating: People tend to crank up their heating to the highest setting of the thermostat right from the start of the winter. Giving your eyes the time to adjust to these changes is crucial, so one way to go would be by increasing the heat very gradually. And it’s also much better for the environment!
4. Use a humidifier: Since you spend most of your time indoors during the winter, one way to counter the effects of the dry air inside is by investing in a humidifier that can bring some extra moisture into the air.
5. Avoid strong winds: Wearing a hooded jacket, sunglasses, and even a scarf to cover most of your face can be effective in breaking the flow of cold air towards your eyes. Exposure to moving air can speed up the drying process. The same applies to sitting in front of heaters or fans for immediate relief from the cold.
6. Stay hydrated: The colder months are when people tend to forget the importance of drinking water and other fluids. It goes without saying that hydrating your body would in turn, hydrate your eyes.
7. Do not rub: Try to avoid touching or rubbing your eyes when you feel discomfort. You may experience an instant relief on doing so, but the long term effects of this can be painful to deal with. You want to avoid any scratching in your eyes especially when they’re dry. But more than anything, transferring germs from your hands to your eyes can lead to infections that can only make all your symptoms much worse.

Finally, as contact lens wearers are most prone to dry eyes, giving your eyes some rest from lenses during the winter is a good idea. Your glasses can both protect you from the elements in the air that cause dryness as well as give your eyes some welcome downtime. Along the same lines, you could also choose to go completely lens/glasses-free by investing in a trusted laser eye procedure that could guarantee better sight and less irritation for longer periods of time.

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