Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Protect Your Eyes In Winter

All Minnesotans know that winter can put the body under stress, but have you ever thought about winter’s effects on your eyes?

Eyes can be easily irritated by the fluctuation between brutally cold winter winds outside and the dry heat indoors. These irritations can be broken down into four conditions that are experienced during the winter season:

1. Runny, Wet Eyes

When your eyes attempt to compensate for the dry winds and heat, often they overcompensate and you get watery eyes that produce excessive tears.

To combat this, wearing sunglasses outdoors can protect your eyes from the wind. In addition, be aware of how you are wiping tears from your eyes. You may be irritating your eyes more if you are wiping them with unclean hands or rubbing your eyes vigorously.

2. Dry Eyes

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your eyes do not produce enough tears, they are dried out by the winds and dry air.

What can you do to help? Here are a few options:
  • Give Dr. Tom a ring to chat about the use of prescription eye drops
  • Sunglasses will once again help your eyes fight the dryness
  • Buy a humidifier for your home or office to add moisture to the air that typically dries out your eyes
  • Take Omega-3 supplements to increase tear production
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Track your medications as some may restrict your ability to create tears. These include antihistamines, sleeping pills, pain relievers, and others.

3. Swollen Eyes

Red, swollen eyes can be caused by compression of the blood vessels in tissues around the eyes. This condition can cause overproduction of tears, blurry vision, and eyelid spasms.

Sunglasses can once again reduce this issue. The UV light reflected on the snow can increase inflammation of the cornea; sunglasses will reduce the UV light’s effects.

4. Burning Eyes

Not only can the cornea become inflamed by winter winds; it can also freeze. Do not force your eyes to open in the wind or cold as these conditions can have damaging effects to your cornea.

If you are experiencing this condition, please call Dr. Tom. He can help find a solution to your eye pain and burning. A temporary fix in the meantime is once again to put on those sunglasses. They will protect your eyes from some of these wind chill effects.

You may have noticed a trend in this article – sunglasses aren’t just for the summer! If you were planning on waiting to get a new pair prescription sunglasses, you might want to rethink that decision. We have many stylish options available at Infinite Eye Care.

Whatever your eye troubles, give Dr. Tom and our team at Infinite Eye Care a call. We can set you up so you’re not suffering through the winter season.

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