Here are our top seven tips for taking care of your eyes during the cold winter months.
1. Wear Sunglasses in Winter
It is important to wear sunglasses all year round, particularly in winter as the sun can be at its most damaging. Wear sunglasses in winter to protect your eyes from harmful effects of UV rays. The sun sits lower on the horizon and can be at its most damaging in winter.
2. Wear Only Category 3 Sunglasses
3. Use Artificial Tears Eye Drop for Dry Eyes
With more time spend indoors in air conditioning and in front of the fire your eyes can become dry and irritated. If you suffer from dry eye in winter, try to sit further away from heat and use artificial eye drops to relieve the soreness that comes from having dry eyes.
4. Wash Your Hands
Winter is a time of year when people are more susceptible to viral infections such as conjunctivitis or pink eye which is spread through direct contact. Protect your eyes from cross infection by washing your hands regularly throughout the day and do not rub your eyes.
5. Apply the 20-20-20 rule
To give your eyes a break when using a screen for extended periods of time, apply the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend in front of a screen, look at an object in the distance, 20 feet away (or 6 metres away), for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break and help alleviate dry eye syndrome.
6. Wear Sunglasses while Driving
When you get behind the wheel, you should always keep a pair of sunglasses in your consol. They are as important to your eye protection as your windscreen, even more so as your windscreen offers little protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
7. Protect Your Eyes
Wear sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes from prolonged exposure to the sun which can damage your eyes slowly over a lifetime resulting in serious eye conditions such as cataracts, pterygium and photokeratitis (or snow blindness). Sunglasses or goggles will also protect your eyes from the harsh winter elements such as the wind, debris, dust, and snow.
If you have further questions about how to best care for your eyes this winter contact your local Eyecare Plus optometrist.