An optician in Northwich is advising residents on how to look after their eyes during the winter period.

Central heating alongside freezing cold winds can irritate your eyes, leaving them feeling gritty, bloodshot and dry. Specsavers store director Harinder Notay, located on High Street, is offering a few tips and facts to help prevent eye soreness.

Keep your eyes healthy this winter

Just a few ways of reducing dry eyes throughout winter include reducing the temperature 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 feeling we sometimes experience in our eyes during the winter period can be made worse with dehydration.

Harinder Notay 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.’

Prevent the the spread of infection

Many people suffer from the common cold and flu during these cold months. As respiratory infections, they can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling sore. You can help prevent the spread of infection from bacteria in coughs and sneezes by washing your hands before touching your eyes.

Notay 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.’

Notay 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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