A optician in Belle Vale is advising local people on how to look after their eyes during the winter period.
Central heating and cold winds can play havoc with your eyes, leaving them feeling gritty dry and bloodshot.
Tips to avoid sore eyes this winter
Specsavers store director Scott Rogers, located at Belle Vale Shopping Centre, is offering a few tips and facts to help prevent eye soreness.
Some of the ways people can reduce dry eyes this winter include reducing the setting on your central heating, avoiding car heaters, especially at face level, and sitting away from direct heat such as gas or electric heaters.
The gritty sensation we sometimes experienced in our eyes during the winter months can be made worse with dehydration. Scott Rogers says; ‘Cut back on the coffee and drink more water. Using eye drops can add extra lubrication to dry eyes.’
Treating dry eyes
‘The term “dry eye” is used when the oil content of the tears doesn’t efficiently lubricate the eye. People with dry eyes often have plenty of watery tears so adding eye drops may seem to not make sense but it’s actually a vital contribution to the oil content of the tears.’
Around this time of year lots of people suffer from the common cold and flu. These are respiratory infections and can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling sore and sensitive. You can help prevent cross infection from bacteria in coughs and sneezes by washing your hands before touching your eyes.
Rogers adds: ‘Even though it is winter, sunglasses are still handy to have to hand. The sun is low in the sky at this time of year and can uncomfortably bright for drivers. Sunglasses give the added protection against ultraviolet radiation and can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
‘The snow will be here soon too and will reflect more UV radiation so remember your sunglasses after snowfall or on skiing holidays.’
Importance of regular eye tests
Rogers says winter is the perfect time to get your eyes tested as poor light conditions can make you susceptible to eyestrain and everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or more quickly, if you are experiencing problems.