Freezing temperatures don’t only bring cold and flu, but also different eye problems. Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body, making them more prone to being affected by winter conditions.
Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure
Long-time exposure to ultraviolet radiation can increase the likelihood of cataracts. This is why experts recommend wearing sunscreen and sunglasses when participating in outdoor activities. Even when it’s overcast, you can still get excessive UV exposure due to reflection from snowy surfaces, which can harm your skin and eyes.
Dry Outdoor and Indoor
As the air cools down, it tends to lose its moisture. In winter, cold winds can be dehydrating for your skin and eyes, which require sufficient moisture to stay healthy. Your eyes, which are made up of 99 percent water, can quickly lose their essential moisture content.
Warm, dry indoor air can be just as dehydrating for your skin and eyes. Re-circulated indoor air also contains more dehydrating elements, such as ambient skin flora and bacteria.
Tips for Protecting Your Eyes This Winter
Dry Eye – If you already have dry eye, heated air can make the condition worse. To get relief from dry eye, lower temperature and open windows for a few minutes if possible. You can use a humidifier or place a bowl of water near the humidifier to humidify the air. Using moisturizing eye drops or ointments recommended by your eye care provider can also help.
Wear Protective Eyewear – Sun rays that hit snow and ice can reach your eyes from below and above. Winter sun can be dazzling, so make sure to wear sunglasses on sunny days, especially when driving. Ask your optometrist about having anti-reflection coating on your eyeglasses to reduce glare.
Practice Proper Eye Hygiene – Keep your eyes healthy by practicing proper eye hygiene. Remove makeup and wash your face before going to bed. Makeup residue, sweat, and germs can cause different eye problems. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands before handling contact lenses. Maintain good eye health and vision by regularly visiting your eye doctor. For your family’s eye care needs, you can rely on Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry. We offer a wide range of services including vision therapy, LASIK eye surgery, and myopia control. Call us at (703) 660-9494 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our services. We assist patients in Alexandria, VA.