For many of us, Wintertime is associated with drab days, soft sunlight and cold temperatures. But even though Winter doesn’t deliver the bright, sunny days and seasonal allergies of Spring and Summer, that doesn’t mean our eyes don’t need special attention. As our friendly optometrist at Optical Outlets tells our patients, the cold weather months carry their own challenges to maintaining healthy vision.
Winter, with its freezing temperatures and chilly winds, compounded by an increasing amount of time spent indoors in dry, heated conditions, creates ideal conditions for dry eyes. Excessive dryness can cause irritation, itchiness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and a feeling that there's something stuck in your eyes. These sensations can be extra troublesome for contact lens wearers. Talk to our optometrist before deciding which over-the-counter drops or treatments are right for you, and for simple changes you can make at home to protect your eyes from becoming too dry.
A common misperception about Winter is that there is no need to wear your sunglasses. But there are many reasons to keep those shades handy! First, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are just as powerful in the Winter as during the warm weather months. And when they reflect off ice and snow, the glare compounds the effect of those rays. You should also wear sunglasses while driving on sunny Winter days, because your windshield doesn’t provide much protection from glare and UV rays.
If you enjoy outdoor winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling or hiking, you’re spending time at higher altitudes where those UV rays are even more intense. Consider a pair of special sunglasses or goggles to protect yourself from temporary “snow blindness,” which occurs from a combination of high elevation and reflective surfaces.
Preparing for the Winter is just one more reason to visit our optometrist at Optical Outlets to protect your vision, no matter what the conditions are. Please contact us today for an appointment!