Eye Protection During Winter: What is Important to Know?
Eye protection during winter is extremely important, because in the cold season our eyes are exposed to many unfavorable factors, such as low temperatures, reflected UV radiation, and dry indoor air. You probably will have encountered eye irritation during winter at least once in your life. This is caused by cold, dry air that contributes to the evaporation of the tear film that cleans and moisturizes the eyes.
We all like to stay in warm rooms on cold winter days, but the air is often dry. This is precisely why protecting your eyes during the winter is important, and with a few simple steps you can help your eyes and avoid the most common problems that occur in the winter period.
What are the most common eye problems during winter?
Usually, with the onset of cold weather, many vision problems worsen. For example, the eyes are more prone to redness in winter, and the skin around them can swell. In addition, many patients complain of worsening visual functions, especially at night, as well as increased lacrimation. Let's take a look at what these unpleasant symptoms are related to and how to deal with them.
The most common eye problem in the winter period that you may face is increased tearing of the eyes1. It is caused by a specific reaction of the body attempting to protect your eyes from the effects of low temperatures. However, the increased tearing may not be only the body's natural reaction to the cold but also a sign that you should pay more attention to the health of your eyes. For example, these symptoms may indicate the development of conjunctivitis. This condition is usually manifested by increased tear production in low temperatures or strong winds. In such cases, ophthalmologists recommend that you apply antihistamine eye drops2 before going outside in winter.
As mentioned before, cold weather and wind can make your eyes feel dry3. In some cases, your eyes cannot produce enough tears to moisten the eyes. In addition to wind and cold, dry eyes can also be caused by reduced humidity in the house when the heating works every day and the windows are closed. Get a humidifier, use the eye drops prescribed by your doctor, wear high-quality eyeglasses when you're outside (especially when it's windy or if you're skiing), and remember that hydration is important – don't forget to drink enough water.
Red and puffy eyes are caused by narrowing of the blood vessels in the area around the eyes. This can also lead to excessive watering of the eyes, as well as blurred vision. Wear sunglasses that will help protect you from UV radiation.
Why is dry indoor air dangerous for the health of the eyes?
One of the obvious dangers for your eyes in winter is the beginning of the heating season. Of course, there are more advantages than disadvantages to this, but increasing the temperature of the air in a room leads to the air becoming dry. This, in turn, can lead to dry eye syndrome4, when the cornea does not receive the appropriate level of moisture necessary to maintain healthy eye condition. The most characteristic symptoms5 of this syndrome include:
- dryness and pain in the eyes;
- sensitivity to light.
How to solve the problem of dry eyes during winter?
There are different treatments for this condition. Most often, the doctor prescribes artificial tears, but also other preparations for eye care, such as gels or ointments, help moisten the cornea and stabilize the tear film. In addition, it would be very useful to blink more often while working at the computer6, as well as to increase the humidity in the room. Doctors also recommend avoiding dehydrating the body and drinking at least 1.5 liters of water per day7.
It is also important to buy quality glasses and not the plastic ones available at various stands, because they are not good for our eyes and do not provide the necessary protection. When buying glasses for kids, pay more attention, because they need more protection than adult eyes due to their greater sensitivity to light. You may struggle a little with your little ones when explaining the advantages of wearing safety glasses from an early age.
Eye protection during winter from UV radiation: why is it important?
Ultraviolet radiation is equally dangerous in winter as in the summer. Although the intensity of UV radiation decreases in cold weather, its reflection from the snow can greatly increase its negative effect on the eyes.
If your eyes are not sufficiently protected, it can lead to conditions such as photokeratitis, also known as "snow blindness8." Symptoms that usually accompany this condition are:
- sharp pain in the eyes;
- the feeling of a foreign body in the eye;
- sensitivity to light.
To avoid these inconveniences and maintain the health of your eyes, ophthalmologists recommend using contact lenses with a UV filter, as well as special sunglasses with polarized lenses. If you lead an active lifestyle and are a fan of hiking and skiing, you must wear ski goggles.
Our Mira Ski Goggles are perfect glasses for any kind of winter sport. They have two lenses desgined optimally for day and night time. One lens is a colorful REVO lens for sunny conditions, the other is a clear lens for dark and rainy conditions. They offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. These lenses also include ventilation for improved anti-fogging. Additionally, they have a spherical design with a 180-degree viewing angle.
Eat healthily. Cold weather is ideal for snacking on anything and everything, but eating nutritious foods can be key to keeping your eyes (and the rest of your body) healthy all year round. Multivitamins can also help, as can a diet rich in antioxidants (including fruits and vegetables, especially green vegetables such as spinach and kale) and beta-carotene (like carrots).
By giving proper eye protection, you may easily prevent photokeratitis, allergies, and other eye-related conditions. The most straightforward method is to wear properly chosen eyeglasses with lenses that will ease the negative effects of strong light and dangerous UV rays. Polarized lenses are the most popular method of glare reduction. They offer the eyes the best UV protection when improved with additional layers. Caring about your eye health affects your overall health.
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7. Total focus. The importance of proper hydration for eye health. April, 5, 2018.
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