Winter is well underway, even here in Texas. Although our winters may not be as harsh as our northern neighbors, the cold weather can still cause problems for your eyes.
Avoid winter eye issues with these tips from the Houston eye doctors at Berkeley Eye Center.
Combat Dry Eyes
One of the biggest problems for your eyes during cold weather is dryness. The dry winter air, in combination with your home and car heating systems, can dry your eyes out quickly and lead to irritation, discomfort and decreased visual acuity.
Fight these effects by using a humidifier indoors and wear a hat or hooded jacket to protect your eyes from wind, dust and debris while outdoors.
Another key to protecting against dry eyes is to take a break from electronic devices. Many of us spend a significant amount of time staring at computer screens, tablets and smart phone screens. Looking at a screen for a long period of time causes us to blink less, which leads reduced production of tears and can cause pain and redness in the eyes.
The eye care specialists at Berkeley Eye Center recommend observing the 20-20-20 rule, which means that every 20 minutes you look at something that is about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It’s a simple practice that can reduce digital eye strain. This is a good habit not just for winter eye care, but all year long!
If you wear contacts, talk to your Houston eye doctor about the appropriate rewetting drops to use. Learn more by reviewing treatments options for dry eye sufferers.
Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays
Whether it’s raining or sunny, hot or cold outside, don’t forget to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses. Make sure to choose eyewear that blocks 100% of UV rays to maximize your protection.
Sunglasses will also help with light sensitivity, which can be an issue in winter. While we don’t see many snow or ice storms here in Texas, they do occasionally happen. The reflective surfaces created by snow and ice can dramatically increase the amount of light your eyes are taking in, even if the sky seems dark and gloomy.
Guard Against Allergens
Spring and fall are more often known for allergens, but winter can come with its own allergy issues. When your house is closed up and the heater running long hours, the allergens that get trapped inside can make your eyes feel watery, scratchy, and irritated.
To combat these effects, try to invest in higher end filters for your indoor heating system. You can treat your allergy symptoms with over-the-counter eye drops and allergy medicine.
Wash Hands Frequently
Avoid influenza, conjunctivitis, and other illnesses that affect the eyes by practicing good hygiene. Wash hands frequently with moisturizing antibacterial soap to avoid spreading germs while avoiding dry, itchy skin. Don’t share makeup or makeup brushes, which can also pass germs that affect the eyes and skin.
Kick Off the New Year with an Eye Exam
One of the most important parts of your winter eye care routine is an annual eye exam. Get 2017 started right with a visit to the Berkeley Eye Center near you. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam today with an experienced Houston eye doctor.