Dry, irritated eyes can occur any time of the year, but the colder months can be especially difficult. Even those who do not suffer from eye discomfort on a routine basis may find that wintertime brings its own set of challenges.
Fortunately, there are several recommendations that can help keep your eyes comfortable in the colder seasons. The experienced ophthalmologists at Monterey County Eye Associates have a few tips and tricks for taking care of your eyes during winter. This should help patients in Salinas, Monterey, CA, and King City during this colder, drier time of year.
Wintertime and Eye Health
There are a few factors that can affect your eye health and vision in the colder months. These include:
- Dry Air: When the outdoor temps drop, the air cannot hold as much humidity as it does in the warmer months. As a result, the cold, gusty winds can dehydrate the eyes and the skin.
- Warm Indoor Air: Fireplaces and central heating units help keep us warm in the wintertime. But re-circulated air can contain various bacteria and other dehydrating elements.
- UV Radiation: You already know that exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is detrimental to your eye health. In the wintertime, these rays can be reflected in icy or snowy surfaces, increasing your exposure exponentially.
There are numerous things that can help you achieve and maintain optimal eye health, even in the winter months. Below are some recommendations from our eye care team.
Use Lubricating Eye Drops
Keeping your eyes hydrated with lubricating eye drops can do wonders for your comfort level. There are plenty of over-the-counter products available. Severe dry eye symptoms may be improved with lubricating eye gel, which can be administered before bed. Ask your ophthalmologist which option is right for you.
Distance Yourself from Direct Heat
Indoor heating is essential to keep you comfortable during the winter. However, sitting too close to a fireplace or heating unit can cause the tear film on the eyes to evaporate much faster, leaving your eyes susceptible to dry eye symptoms. Keep warm, but maintain some distance from the source of heat.
Wear Eye Protection Outdoors
Anytime you venture outside, be sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes. To shield your eyes from blustery winds, choose wraparound eyewear.
Consider Purchasing a Humidifier
Dry eye symptoms caused by indoor heating can be counteracted with a humidifier. This helps replenish moisture in the air, improving overall air quality.
Use Screens in Moderation
In our modern times, we spend a significant amount of our day looking at screens. Whether it be your television, laptop, or smartphone, excessive screen time can exacerbate dry eye symptoms. This is partially because we blink less often when we’re looking at screens. Throughout the day, take small breaks and blink more to keep your eyes hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water helps keep you hydrated from the inside, out. Try drinking at least 64 ounces of water every day to keep your eyes functioning at optimal performance.
Contact Our Practice for More Information
Keep your eyes healthy and comfortable this winter by following these simple guidelines. To learn more eye health tips and advice, contact our vision specialists online or call us at (831) 375-2020.