Most people know that the summer months can be rough on the eyes, but some might not be aware that winter can be just as harmful. During the cold-weather months, it is imperative that you take steps to protect your vision. To help you properly prepare, here is what you need to know about winter and your eyes.
How Does Winter Impact Your Vision?
In cold-weather months, the dry air can evaporate the tear film that is responsible for keeping your eyes moisturized. As a result, you can experience irritation and burning. Even if you stay inside, you can experience dry eyes due to the use of heat to keep your home warm.
Your eyes are also at risk of being sunburned during the winter. The ice and snow can reflect ultraviolet rays, which can prove damaging to your eyes. Exposing your eyes to the rays can lead to an increased risk of temporary vision loss, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
In addition to these problems, you have to factor in the possibility of being hit in the eyes while enjoying winter activities, such as skiing. You could also inadvertently be injured while performing winter-related activities, such as shoveling snow from your sidewalk.
What Can You Do?
One of the most important steps you can take in the winter is to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. Simply wearing sunglasses while outside can limit or eliminate the exposure to your eyes.
While outside engaging in winter-related activities, make sure your eyes are protected from flying objects. If wearing sunglasses is not an option, opt for goggles. Look for goggles that offer UV protection. Your optometrist can fit you with prescription goggles if you have vision problems.
Combating dry eyes can be challenging, but it is not impossible. To help counter the drying effect from using a heating system in your home or office, invest in a humidifier. The humidifier will help to keep moisture in the air. As an added measure, keep eye drops handy.
If the eye drops do not alleviate the dryness, talk to your eye doctor about prescription-strength eye drops. He or she can also assess your eye health to determine if there is an underlying condition that is responsible for the dryness and provide you with treatment.
Consult with an eye doctor, such as one at All About Eyes, about any other visual problems that you experience during the winter.