During the winter months, various environmental and circumstantial factors can affect your eye health and vision. As we welcome the new year with “open eyes”, Eye Associates doctors warn their patients about winter factors that impact vision.
As outdoor temperatures drop during the winter months, the air becomes colder and can no longer hold as much atmospheric water (humidity) as warmer air can. Cold winter winds are especially dehydrating, and therefore damaging, to our eyes and skin (which are comprised mostly of water.)
Reflected UV Radiation
Many do not realize how strong UV radiation can be while reflecting off the snow. Excessive exposure can even accelerate the development of cataracts.
The heated air in our homes is just as much, if not more so, problematic during the cooler months. When we heat our homes, the dry cold air from outside is heated up, making it even drier, and forced indoors. Recirculated indoor air also contains ambient skin flora and bacteria, in far greater amounts than fresh outdoor air.
Maintaining Healthy Winter Vision Is Simple
While the cold, dry air of winter may not be ideal for optimal vision health, there are plenty of solutions to keep your eyes clear, comfortable, and healthy. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep your eyes moist. Placing houseplants or a humidifier in your home can drastically improve dry indoor air conditions. Moisturizing eye drops can also relieve dry eyes. Feel free to ask your Eye Associates ophthalmologist or optometrist which drops would be right for you! Be sure to wear sunglasses in the winter with UV protection to ensure your vision is safe from snow-reflected sunshine. Try to wear your eyeglasses more frequently than contact lenses. Regular eyeglasses do a better job of protecting your eyes from the cold winter winds and can even help hold heat and moisture close to the eyes.
Questions? Ask your Eye Associates ophthalmologist or optometrist how to further protect your vision this season! Call 1-800-922-1766 or contact your nearest Eye Associates location to schedule an appointment.