Every season brings its own unique health issues; summer sunburns and heat exhaustion, springtime and autumn allergies. Winter has its own set of problems, including the common cold and dry eye syndrome. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can prevent your eyes from becoming itchy and inflamed or strained from glare.
Harlem VistaSite Eye Care in New York City provides a full range of eye care services, including solutions for uncomfortable eyes caused by winter weather. Ask us what we can do to help you manage your condition!
Common winter eye problems
Dry eye syndrome can be a problem any time of year, but it tends to worsen in the wintertime. Cold winds outside and hot air inside creates an especially dry environment, and it can be difficult to keep from rubbing your eyes raw.
Although dry eyes are the most common complaint during the cold months, they aren’t the only thing you should be worried about. Many people forego sunglasses in the winter, but UV radiation is present year-round, and exposure to harsh light can damage your eyes over time.
Winter sports create another problem: Snow and icy winds can easily burn the area around your eyes while you’re skiing or snowboarding, and flying chips of ice can cause injuries.
Tips for the winter
Many of these tips work year-round, but they’re especially important during the colder months. That said, here are a few tips to help you prevent dryness and protect your eyes this winter.
- Wear glasses while walking outdoors; they protect your eyes more than contacts.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes, which only provides temporary relief and worsens the problem.
- If your eyes itch, place a warm, damp cloth over them for 5-10 minutes.
- Keep a bottle of artificial tears in your purse, desk, or glove-box.
- Always wear goggles when participating in winter sports.
- Invest in transition lenses, which protect your eyes against UV light year-round.
- Place houseplants and humidifiers around the house.
- Avoid sitting close to heat sources or fireplaces.
When to take dry eyes seriously
A little bit of dryness is normal during the winter months, especially if you spend a lot of time outside or wear contact lenses. Switching to glasses and using eye drops can help, but if your dry-eye becomes difficult to manage on your own, it might be a sign that it’s time to consult a specialist.
At Harlem VistaSite Eye Care, our team can identify and diagnose dry eye syndrome, and help you find a solution that works. This might involve eyelid cleanings and medicated eye drops, or more in-depth treatments for severe cases.
To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling 646-453-6506, or book online.