Autumn and our Eyes

Eye Health

Autumn and our Eyes

As the temperatures are dropping lower- often below freezing, in order to maintain our comfort as we start to layer our clothing, crank up the heating and cosy down near our fire places (or radiators) with a warm drink in order to brace the cold, we also introduce many precautionary measures to look after ourselves and protect ourselves from the chill and what else it comes with.

We often take precautionary steps and additional measures to look after ourselves during the cold season. For example, we take our annual flu jabs to protect us from the flu virus, we use moisturisers (lip balms and creams) to help with our dry skin, we drink herbal teas to warm up our insides and soothe sore throats, and the list goes on and on. The question we forget to ask ourselves is: what do we do to look after our eyes in winter?

Here are our opticians’ top 5 eye care tips for your eyes this winter.

Don’t forget UV protection

We tend to associate winter with “dull, cloudy, dreary” days while summer days are “bright, sunny and clear”. Based on this, we tend to wear our sunglasses more so in the summer- as the assumption is that UV levels are higher. In actual fact, there is more UV light present in the winter months.

Exposure to UV light can have many side effects, including speeding up the progression of cataracts. It is also a risk factor for developing conditions such as macular degeneration. It is therefore very important to ensure that you are protecting your eyes from UV light. This can be done by means of sunglasses or lenses that change colour based on UV levels in the surroundings.

Use ocular lubricants

One of the biggest struggles many people find they have in the winter is stepping into the cold and finding that their eyes start streaming. This is more often than not due to the wind and cold drying up our eyes.

One of the ways this can be overcome is through the use of ocular lubricants, a.k.a. dry eye drops such as Thealoz Duo. Using dry eye drops regularly through the day, as well as just before you go out will maintain the ocular tear film and reduce tear evaporation which is also at a higher rate indoors in winter due to the heating being on.

Keep your vision clear

The other big issue people find they have in the winter is the steaming up of the windscreen and of their spectacle lenses. When we move from the cold outdoors to the warmth inside our glasses often steam up resulting in us not being able to see for a short while which is an inconvenience.

This can be avoided by wearing contact lenses, which do not have a cold surface that can steam up thus maintaining clarity throughout the day. If you want to keep wearing your glasses, using anti-fog wipes on your glasses lenses can also work well and help maintain your vision clear.

Avoid dryness around your eyes

Alongside dry skin, dry lips and dry eyes (ocular surface dryness), there is also dryness of the skin surrounding our eyes. Hydration is key to maintaining moisture – and therefore using hydrating moisturisers, keeping well hydrated by drinking fluids through the day and using eye drops will help to reduce ocular surface dryness and dryness of the surrounding skin of the eyes. Maintaining this moisture is important as dry skin can be very itchy and uncomfortable.

Avoid poor lighting

With the days being shorter and the nights being longer we find that we will be carrying out a lot more visual tasks in the evenings/night under low light levels. Working in poor light conditions can strain the eyes as it makes visual tasks more difficult. Ensure that you are working in good light levels to maintain your comfort and so that you are able to continue with your visual tasks.

Feel free to get in touch

For more information on what you can do this winter to help your eyes, call your nearest store or book an appointment to talk to one of our qualified optometrists.
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