Most people know to protect their eyes in the summer, but you should protect your eyes in the winter, too! The cold weather can cause dry, watery, and itchy eyes. I’m going to go over ways to help your eyes stay healthy this winter!
- Wear sunglasses
Harmful UV rays become even worse when they reflect off snow. In fact, snow reflects about 80% of light that it hits. This is even worse than water which reflects up to 65% of light. Sun glare from snow can cause “snow blindness” which is light a sunburn on the eye and can be very painful. This is why it is important to wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV light even in the wintertime! Sunglasses can also help shield your eyes from cold gusts of wind that can make your eyes water.
- Wear a hat
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat will help keep UV rays off your face and out of your eyes. Hats also keep your noggin warm when it’s cold out!
- Wear eye protection
Eye injuries can happen during wintertime, too! Make sure to wear eye protection to help prevent injuries while shoveling snow, putting up decorations, or doing winter yard work.
- Treat dry eye
Dry air outside and heat from indoors can evaporate your tears causing dry and itchy eyes. Applying artificial tears will help keep your eyes moist and comfortable. It is also as important to stay hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer. Drinking enough water, on average 1 gallon per day, can relieve dry eye. Using a humidifier can also help by adding moisture to the air. If you wear contacts, consider giving them a break and wearing your glasses more. Also, you can try turning down the heat or directing the vents away from your eyes.
- Practice good hygiene
Conjunctivitis, AKA “Pinkeye”, in more common in winter months. It is contagious and spreads through contact. To protect your eyes from this, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes. If you have any symptoms of conjunctivitis, call your eye doctor to get proper treatment.
The wintertime can be so much fun, especially during the holidays, so make sure you keep your eyes healthy so you are feeling 100% and can better enjoy all the activities that the winter months have to offer!