As the freezing winter weather moves in, staff at a Blackpool opticians are advising residents on how to keep their eyes protected against the harsh effects of cold winds and central heating which often leave eyes feeling gritty, dry and bloodshot.
That is why Craig McGill, store director at the Specsavers store in Houndshill Shopping Centre, is offering a handful of tips and facts which will help prevent eye soreness.
Tips to prevent eye irritation
Avoiding car heaters, especially at face level, turning the setting down on your central heating and sitting away from direct heat such as gas or electric heaters are just a couple of ways to help reduce the irritation of dry eyes this winter. The gritty sensation and dryness we sometimes experience in our eyes during the cold months can also be made worse by dehydration.
Craig McGill said: ‘While we all enjoy a hot drink at this time of year, cut back on the coffee and drink more water. Additionally, using eye drops can add extra lubrication to 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.’
Stop cross infection
The common cold and flu affect many people especially at this time of year. As respiratory infections, they can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling irritated. You can help stop the spread of infection from bacteria in sneezes and coughs by washing your hands before touching your eyes.
Winter is also an ideal time to get your eyes tested as poor light conditions can make you susceptible to eyestrain.
Craig McGill added: ‘It may surprise many but, even though it is winter, sunglasses are still handy. The sun is low in the sky at this time of year and can be uncomfortably bright for drivers. Sunglasses give 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.’
Everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or sooner if you are experiencing problems.