With all this Valentine’s Day romance in the air, it’s easy to forget to spare some tender love and care for your eyes. Whether you’re on the commute, skiing down mountains or curled up by the fire, the winter months can wreak havoc on your visual health.
So to keep your vision in check, the team at Hodd Barnes and Dickins have compiled a few easy winter eye health tips…
Beat Dry Eye Winter
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition in which your body can’t produce enough quality tears to keep your eyes adequately lubricated, and unfortunately it’s a condition that’s exacerbated throughout the winter months. Cold air and brisk winds outdoors are notorious for drying out your eyes, yet staying indoors with heaters, open fires and increased screen time has a similar effect. You’re in a Catch-22.
The remedy? Our eye health tips are to drink plenty of fluids, and if you feel your eyes are unusually dry, make sure to carry round eye drops to keep your eyes moist – these work by boosting your tear layer and preventing your natural tears evaporating. Avoid sitting too close to heaters and fires whilst indoors, and wear glasses or protective goggles outdoors to alleviate a dry eye winter when conditions are particularly windy.
Sun + Snow Damage
Damage from UV rays isn’t exclusive to summer; in fact the sun can be particularly harmful when double-bombarding your eyes from the sky and bouncing back up from snow. UV damage can cause discolouration, macular degeneration and cataracts, resulting in vision loss or even blindness. And if you’re skiing there are other factors that can also exacerbate dry eye, including wind, altitude, cold temperatures and bright sunlight, not to mention that your eyes might be in the firing line for bits of slush, ice or debris, all of which could cause damage or infection.
The remedy? If you’re lucky enough to be cruising the mountains in the upcoming weeks, make sure to invest in high quality skiing goggles and/or sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB shields to protect your winter eye health.
When it’s cold outside, we’re all guilty of retreating indoors to our televisions, tablets, laptops. But did you know that your blink rate significantly decreases when your eyes are glued to a screen? Regular blinking keeps your eyes healthy and lubricated, so when the rate declines your eyes become vulnerable to dry eye winter.
The remedy? If you can’t cut down on screen time, whether at work or home, give your eyes regular breaks – even a few seconds gazing out of the window can do wonders for your winter eye health, refocusing your eyes and preventing dryness and digital eyestrain.
At this time of year it can be tempting to tuck into winter comfort food – pies, lasagnes, fry-ups. But although these warming meals may line you with an extra layer against the cold, they don’t always provide you with the best nutrients for your eyes.
The remedy? Pack your diet with nutrients rich in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E to boost your winter eye health. Seasonal leafy greens such as chard, kale, savoy cabbage, salmon, nuts and seeds all provide vital vitamins and antioxidants to keep your vision well fed.
If you want to beat dry eye winter this February, follow our eye health tips to boost your vision. It’s vitally important to look after your eyes, so if you’re due your biennial eye test or have any specific concerns, then don’t hesitate to book a comprehensive eye examination with us at Hodd Barnes and Dickins today.