We’re at that turning point in the year when the weather could become cold, dry, and windy. The team at our Amarillo office wants our patients to know what they can do to prevent and manage the eye conditions that are common around this time of year. Here, we discuss a few.
The colder the temperature, the drier the air gets. Coupled with a greater number of windy days and we have the perfect recipe for dry eyes. And what do we do on cold days? We turn up the indoor heat, of course! This only exacerbates dry eyes because indoor air also has a drying effect on the air.
What to Do
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to sustain adequate hydration.
- Run a humidifier in at least one room of the home, as well as the office, to moisten the air.
- Use artificial tears following the label instructions to restore eye lubrication.
- Schedule a visit with the ophthalmologist to discuss dry eye treatment if home remedies do not alleviate symptoms.
Redness and Inflammation
The winter months are the time of year when we worry the most about colds and flu. It is also possible to experience seasonal allergies in the wintertime, especially in places where mold is prevalent. These conditions can cause puffiness, redness, and inflammation.
What to Do
It’s not possible to avoid all possibilities for wintertime ailments and allergies. To manage these risks, experts suggest:
- Wash hands frequently using soap and water
- Avoid touching and rubbing the eyes
- Toss eye products and makeup that is out of date (older than six months)
- See a doctor about eye irritation that persists longer than a week or two or does not improve with home remedies
As the weather gets colder, we assume that the sun is farther from the earth and therefore potentially less harmful.The truth is that the ultraviolet rays in sunshine are powerful all throughout the year. This type of light penetrates through clouds and can bounce off of reflective surfaces like water and snow.
What to Do
Regardless of the weather, if the sun is out, it is important to wear sunglasses. On cloudy days, lighter sunglasses may provide sufficient filtering to minimize, if not prevent, damage to the eyes.