You’ve got snow tires on the car, thermals out from the back of your closest, and the snow blower is primed and ready to go. You are prepared for the 2019 Polar Vortex, but have you winterized your eyes? We have a few tips on how to protect your eyes from winter.
We never leave the house without sunglasses in the summer, but do you remember them when you head out to shovel the snow? Snow reflects up to 80% of the UV radiation, so even on cloudy days, it is best to protect your eyes. Prolonged exposure to UV, even in the winter, can cause photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is a sun burn of the cornea that causes pain and blurry vision. The good news is that this usually only lasts 1-3 days.
Does the winter weather have you tearing up? The freezing air dries out your eyes. The body responds to dry eye by adding watery tears. Unfortunately these watery tears wash away the good tears leaving your eyes more irritated. Stop dry eyes by wearing wrapped sunglasses or consider goggles with a foam insert. Is it too late? Are your eyes already watering? Add a non-preserved artificial tear, like Blink Tears.
Yes, you can still wear your contact lenses when you are outside in the cold. Your contacts will not freeze and stick to your eyeballs. Remember to keep blinking, your tears help warm and lubricate your contact lenses.
Not interested in going outside? Neither are we. It seems like a perfect opportunity to curl up in a chair by the fireplace and read. As we crank up the heat indoors, the air dries out. Add a humidifier to your space to help your eyes (and skin) not feel so dry. Remember to keep it going at night when your eyes are more vulnerable to dryness.
Now that you’ve got your eyes winterized, if they are still feeling dry and irritated schedule an appointment today so we can help you takes the next steps.