Winter or cold weather presents some unique challenges when it comes to keeping your eyes protected and healthy. The dryer air and increased risk of overexposure to ultraviolet light are some of the things you need to be prepared to protect your eyes from. Here are four ways to protect your eyes from the cold.
Limit Exposure to Low-Humidity Areas
Dryness in the eyes is the most common issue during the winter. This is mainly because dry air is more prevalent almost anywhere you go – outdoor air is naturally less humid than during the warmer seasons, while indoor air becomes increasingly dry as we turn on the furnaces to stay warm.
The most effective way to combat dry areas is it to use a humidifier. Installing high quality air filters and keeping a distance from heating sources can also help keep your eyes moisturized.
Learn more about dry eye therapy and how we can help minimize symptoms during winter.
Keep Your Eyes Moist
Of course, it is not possible to take a humidifier with you everywhere you go, particularly outside. Having a small bottle of moisturizing eye drops handy is a good practice during winter. Use the eye drops when you are experiencing dry eyes, or even in advance before you head outside for long periods of time. Ask your optometrist about artificial tear drops or other treatment options to help keep your eyes moist during the winter months.
Use UV Protective Eyewear
When the sunlight reflects off the snow and into our eyes, it can cause overexposure to the sun’s UV rays. This has the potential to cause snow blindness which is a painful and temporary loss of vision. Excessive UV exposure can also put us at greater risk for cataracts and other health complications.
Wearing sunglasses will ensure that you have appropriate UV ray protection. Goggles with UV ray protection serve the same function as sunglasses, but are more appropriate for outdoor activities due to their extra protection from debris and dry winds.
Eating nutritiously is important all year long, and especially so during the winter. A good diet paired with multivitamins which are rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene, is essential to keeping your eyes healthy and more resistant to the harsh elements of winter.