During winter, we often remember to keep warm with sweaters and scarves and even take care of our skin with the best moisturizers while forgetting that our eyes also need winter care. Some of the irritants that can cause blurry vision, itchiness, and burning eyes during winter include harsh winds and dry air. Fortunately, there are some strategies within your reach to help protect your eyes during winter.
Taking Computer Breaks
When winter comes around you will probably want to sit indoors watching Netflix for hours on your laptop. While it sounds ideal, you should make sure you take breaks from your laptop regularly to protect your eyes. Spending increased periods in front of a computer can make the eyes become very irritated and dry. The 20-20-20 rule will suffice in which you shift your eyes to something positioned at least 20 feet away every 20 seconds and do this after every 20 minutes. It is also recommended to blink frequently, as we tend to blink significantly less when looking at a computer screen.
Avoid Touching or Rubbing Your Eyes
The irritation, burning, and itching caused by dry eyes can tempt you to rub your peepers but you should avoid doing so, regardless of the time of year. Even though it may bring you some relief, you should refrain from doing this, as it may make things worse and result in further irritation. It can also cause infection seeing as your hands have bacteria, which may get into the eyes.
We are always reminded to drink plenty of fluids when the temperatures are high, but it is equally as important to keep hydrated during winter to keep dry eyes at bay. When we hydrate from within by drinking enough water every day, it can make a very big difference especially if you will be outside when it is windy and dry.
Use Lubricating Drops or a Humidifier
Dry, cold air can irritate one’s eyes while indoor heaters remove moisture from the air and this can result in blurry vision and burning. It can feel like there is something gritty irritating your eye and people often think it is an infection or an allergy when it is one’s natural tears simply drying out. It is advisable to use a humidifier at night or open a window at night. When you are driving, aim the heating vents away from your face. You can also get preservative-free artificial tears bought over-the-counter to give you immediate relief when the irritation strikes.
Another way to maintain your eye health during winter is to wear polarized sunglasses with complete UV protection is to wear polarized sunglasses. When sunlight is reflected off the snow, it can result in sunburn to your cornea during winter. Actually, snow can reflect almost 80 percent of the UV light from the sun meaning you will be twice as exposed to the same harmful rays. You also need to be extra careful if you will be engaged in any winter activity such as snowboarding, or skiing at high altitudes because exposure to UV radiation increases by up to 5 percent per 1000 feet above sea level.