An Optician in Bootle is advising local residents on how to take care of their eyes over the cold winter period.

Icy winds and central heating can play havoc with your eyes, leaving them feeling gritty, bloodshot and dry. Specsavers store director Sara Taylor, located at the Strand shopping centre, is offering a few tips and facts to help prevent eye soreness.

Tips on how to look after your eyes

A couple of ways to help reduce dry eyes this winter include turning down 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 winter can be irritated by dehydration.

Sara Taylor says; ‘Cut back on the coffee and drink more water. 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.’

Keep your hands clean and your eyes fresh

At this time of year the common cold and flu circulates alot more than normal. These are respiratory infections and can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling irritated. You can help prevent cross infection from bacteria in coughs and sneezes by washing your hands before touching your eyes.

Taylor 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.’ Taylor says winter is a great 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 sooner if you are experiencing problems.

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