Every winter, our body becomes susceptible to a lot of issues owing to the temperature drop. While most of us concern ourselves with providing our bodies the warmth that it needs, we often forget to care for our eyes. This can be a problem, especially if you are a person with chronic issues of itchiness or dryness which might aggravate in the cold and dry spells of winter. Cold air can suck the moisture away from a lot of things, which unfortunately include your eyes too. A few symptoms that might plague you include stinging and burning sensation in your eyes, redness, and itching, blurring of vision, excessive tearing and even the presence of mucus. While conditions like these require you to make a visit to the doctor, we have come with a list of winter eye care tips that are sure to act as excellent precautions:
- Keep your eyes moist all the time –
While winter signals a stream of advertisements for body moisturizers and lotions for our skin, we often forget to tend to our eyes. Winter eye care is extremely important to ensure that our eyes are not ripped off the healthy moisture they require. The cold winter air prevents your eyes from generating moisture, so do not aggravate this situation by exposing your eyes to heaters, however tempting they might feel. Purchase moisturizing eye-drops to alleviate the dryness in your eyes.
- Reduce the usage of electronic devices –
While it might seem comfortable to be huddled in blankets and glued to your electronic gadgets on a cold winter day, they can prove extremely detrimental to your eyes. It is scientifically proven that using electronic gadgets causes us to blink less. On an average, a person blinks about fifteen times in a minute, but due to the high attention towards the gadget screen before his or her eyes, this rate could drop to a mere one-third of 5 times per minute. Why is this a problem? Blinking produces tears which are a primary source of moisture for our eyes, and by using gadgets we are depriving out eyes of natural moisture. Eye experts recommend a 20-20-20 rule where a person is advised to look at some 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes of gadget use.
Just like you supply necessary nutrients and fibers to other parts of your body, your eyes have some specific requirements during winter. First, consume an adequate amount of water and stay hydrated. People often believe that one should consume more water just in summer, but winter has the capacity to dry out the water in your body too. Secondly, consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These help in better functioning of the meibomian glands, which are responsible for tear production, hence naturally moisturizing your eyes. A study among women even suggests that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the occurrence of the dry-eye syndrome to a large extent. Omega-3 fatty acid rich food includes flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds and fatty fishes like salmon and tuna.
Experts recommend the use of protective eyewear especially to ward off dangerous UV (Ultra Violet) rays from the sun. If you are indulging in outdoor activity which makes you exposed to dust or debris, consider investing in a pair of good goggles. But on a general note, use eyeglasses while you travel outside. This is for two reasons- to help your eyes adjust to sunlight and reduce strain in vision, and also to protect your eyes from dryness due to the cold winds.
- Visit a doctor without delay –
While we have listed ways in which you can care for your eyes in winter, we also urge you to consult a medical professional immediately if you face any irritation or pain. You can try placing a warm damp cloth on your eyes the first time, but if the problem persists seek treatment immediately. Your doctor can tend to your individual needs and provide you with suitable medication.