During the winter months, you may be thinking more about wearing a warm jacket than sunglasses. You may not think anything about protecting your eyes in winter, but did you know that your eyes are just as likely to be damaged in January as they are in June? Here are some tips on how to protect your eyes from wind, glare, and ultraviolet radiation exposure during the winter months.
UV Radiation and Glare Protection
Snow and ice reflect 80% of the sun’s UV rays. Prolonged exposure can cause photokeratitis, or “snow blindness”, which can be painful. Whether you are outside running, skiing, doing yard work, or outside for any period of time you should wear sunglasses or goggles that protect against UV rays. Children playing in the snow should wear glasses that provide 100% UV protection, as their eyes damage more easily than adult eyes.
Wind and Dryness
Both the cold weather and wind can dry out your eyes. Wearing sunglasses or goggles can block wind and protect your eyes from cold air. If you are experiencing constant dryness, consider buying a humidifier to keep helpful moisture in the air, which can also help suffering from a winter cold, helping to keep your sinus from drying out. Stay hydrated and up your fluid intake to help tear production. Ask your eye doctor about artificial tears and use them as prescribed.
Protecting your eyes in winter can prevent or slow down other eye conditions, including:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Cancer and other growths
- Wrinkles around the eyes
When enjoying time outside this winter season, be sure to keep your eyes safe. If you suspect you have issues, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment.