Winter can seem to go on forever, even if you live in a warm place like Nevada. After the holidays, most people are ready for the colder weather to be over.
But in many places across the country, the first couple of months of the year are the coldest. Winter weather can be fun in small doses.
If you’re not used to it, it can be a pain in larger ones, but no matter your feelings, one thing is for sure. During the winter, you should take precautions to keep your body, and your eyes in particular, healthy.
Here’s how you can do just that. Keep reading for 5 tips to follow for healthy eye care this winter!
1. Limit Your Time Out in the Cold
When it’s cold outside, you shouldn’t spend too much time outdoors without protection. Even if it doesn’t feel that cold, your eyes may be the ones that pay the price.
Colder winter months can make your eyes dry, itchy, and irritated. If you wear contact lenses, colder weather can dry out your eyes even faster.
Make sure you keep track of just how long you’ve been outside if you’re taking a walk. If your eyes start to feel uncomfortable, head inside!
2. Wear Sunglasses
During the summer, you probably know to wear sunglasses to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays. But the sun is still around even when it’s cold.
In the winter, you can still suffer damage to your eyes, even if it’s cloudy while you’re outside. It may be unlikely to experience snow in Nevada, but it’s not impossible!
If there’s snow on the ground, sunlight reflecting off it can be more harmful! Be sure to wear sunglasses whenever you go out on a sunny day, especially if there’s snow on the ground.
Take extra precautions if you’re participating in any winter sports like skiing or snowboarding. This means goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes.
3. Stay Hydrated
Another thing you may think about more in the summer is drinking plenty of water. A nice cold glass of water is a little less appealing when you’ve just come inside in the middle of the winter.
But it’s just as important to stay hydrated in cold weather as it is in warmer weather. It’s more important as dry winter air can make you dehydrated faster.
Drink water where you can, but you can also eat foods that contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids like tuna, flaxseed, and even eggs. Eating more of these foods will help keep your eyes hydrated!
4. Limit Screen Time
It can be tempting to spend more time looking at digital devices when the weather turns cooler. But this can harm your sight.
If you have to look at a screen for a long time, try to take breaks and follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from the screen to look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Following this rule will help your eyes rest and recharge before you get back to the screen.
5. Avoid Dry Air
Heating is essential in the winter if you want to keep your home warm. But blasting your heating system at all hours can dry out the air and your eyes.
This is especially true if you sit near a vent for a long time. Do your best to avoid direct air blowing on your face. If your heating makes your home particularly dry, consider getting a humidifier that you can put in the room you spend the most time in. Your eyes will thank you!
Are you concerned that your eyes are still dry and irritated after trying these winter eye care tips? Schedule an appointment at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, NV, to discuss your dry eye treatment options with our eye doctors today!