The eye care in winter

The eye care

Although we tend to think that we should only protect our eyes from the bright summer sun, the fact is that the colder months of the year can also lead to threats to our eye health.

Winter in our mind conjures images of dark days, overcast clouds and gliding umbrella in the rain. When the cold starts to tighten, it seems that sunglasses are not as necessary as a good coat or a wool scarf. However, reality does not always respond to this stereotype, especially in Spain, where the sun continues to make its appearance regardless of the season.

Indeed, while the sun shines less intense in winter than in summer, that does not mean we can forget the eye protection. In the colder months of the year, the sun lies low in the sky and a different angle, which may increase our exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This risk is so significant as gray days on clear days. As we all know, ultraviolet radiation accelerates the onset of certain types of cataracts and macular degeneration associated with age, two of eye health problems more common in middle age.

But the sun is not the only threat. Although many people think winter is the wettest season of the year by the increased presence of snow, there are days in which the air may become very dry. That cold, dry environment can irritate the eyes, even in temperate climates, which must take into account the contact lens wearers.

If the environment is not very nice on the outside, the heaters are also a problem indoors, as they tend to decrease the humidity. While most cases of dryness or irritation for this reason are mild, often makes us frotemos eyes, a practice discouraged by the risk of infections and eye injuries.

Dry eye

The most common eye problem in the winter is dry, resulting in a burning or itching or a foreign body has entered the eye. Humidity levels are greatly reduced in home or office with the heating on and windows closed.

Spend much time outside on a windy day also contributes to dry eyes. People who experience more discomfort are suffering from the so-called dry eye syndrome, whose symptoms include pain, blurred vision, redness, or even excessive tearing, a mechanism with which the eyes compensate this lack of moisture.

Dry eye can occur at any age but is most common in mature people, especially women who have passed menopause. For most people, dry eye is simply a nuisance, but in severe cases, increase our vulnerability to corneal infections that can affect vision permanently.

Coping with dry eye

  • Drink more fluids.
  • Blink more often. When you concentrate on a complex visual task, such as those performed at the computer, decreases the number of flashes per minute, which can exacerbate dryness.
  • Use humidifiers in your home and workplace.
  • Consultation on the use of artificial tears to your optometrist.

When it's cold or rainy, we spent more time watching television, reading or surfing the Internet, which can increase eye strain and dry eyes. For palliation, should perform periodic breaks, for example, by looking at distant objects for several minutes.

If you use contact lenses

People who wear contact lenses are more likely to develop dry eye in the winter. Contact lenses are like sponges: they begin to dry, can lose their shape and adhere to the eyeball, causing discomfort and blurred vision. Therefore it is very important to maintain proper lubrication of the eyes.

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