Posted by: OptiVision Eye care in Health

It’s time to bust out the shovels and eggnog because winter is here once again! Whether you’re a fan of the cold weather or not, you have to agree that winter is truly the most wonderful time of the year – but maybe just not for your eyes. The holiday season poses a set of new risks for your vision, but with careful foresight (pun intended) you can stay safe and keep your eyes from feeling uncomfortable or getting damaged! We’ve compiled the best tactics for avoiding some of the most common eye health hazards at this time of year, so take a look (pun intended) at how you can protect your vision over the holidays.

Reflective Snow

Although most people’s minds go to summer when they think of sunglasses, you need them just as badly – if not more – in the winter! If you plan on hitting the slopes this year, or even just going outside at all, you need to invest in a powerful pair of sunglasses to combat the sun’s intensity when it’s reflected off of snow and ice. The sun is strong enough on its own (and it’s not like it goes away in the winter), so having it magnified by all of the beautiful and unique reflective powder covering the ground can put you at serious risk.

Overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) light generated by the sun can irritate and damage your eyes, leading to a condition known as keratitis. This condition involves the inflammation of the cornea which can reduce your eyesight, result in itchiness, and cause moderate pain. If you find yourself suffering from keratitis, it can usually be treated with antibiotic eye drops. In addition to keratitis, prolonged exposure to UV light can also contribute to the development of cataracts.

To save your eyes from these unpleasant side effects, grab some sunglasses that protect against UV light. When you’re picking out a pair, look for one that shields from both UVA and UVB rays with a minimum UV 400 protection level. Polarized sunglasses can also reduce any glare you might experience due to reflective snow, saving your eyes from unnecessary strain and fatigue. This is an incredibly important step in preventing damage to your eyes over the winter.

Dry Eyes

No matter who you are, you’ve probably been cursed with a nasty case of dry eyes at some point. Not only is this condition super annoying, but it is also super common. During the winter, your eyes are especially at risk of drying out due to a combination of the low levels of humidity at home and the crisp, cold wind outside. Dry eyes may also be the result of other factors such as certain medications and medical conditions which inhibit your ability to produce tears.

So what does it feel like? You know it well: that dry, itchy feeling. Sometimes it can even feel like you have something stuck in your eye, even if there is nothing there.  Despite being incredibly uncomfortable, there is actually quite a bit that you can do to relieve your eyes and get you back to feeling normal.

Stay hydrated! Makes sense, right? If your eyes are dried out, it might be because you aren’t getting enough H20, so down a few glasses and keep a water bottle by your side. It even helps to use a humidifier at home. Humidifiers push moisture into the air which will be much easier on your eyes and stop them from feeling as itchy. Eye drops are another great way to keep your eyes moist and feeling fine. Also, remember what we said about sunglasses above? Here’s another benefit: sunglasses can keep you shielded from those crazy winter winds and prevent your eyes from drying out.

It’s important that you take care of your dry eyes as soon as you can because they can eventually cause your vision to be blurred or reduced and even damage your corneas. Don’t let this annoying winter eye worry get the best of you!

Have any more questions about how to take care of your eyes this holiday season? Give us a shout! We’d love to help you out.