As the icy winter weather sets in, the team at Specsavers in Allerton is advising residents on how to protect their eyes from the harsh effects of cold winds and central heating which often leave eyes feeling dry, gritty and bloodshot.

Here to share some facts and tips on ways to prevent eye soreness is Andrew Preston, store director at Allerton Specsavers on Allerton Road.

Helpful hints to prevent dry eyes

Avoiding car heaters, especially at face level, reducing the setting on your central heating and sitting away from direct heat such as gas or electric heaters are just a handful ways to help reduce the irritation of dry eyes this winter. The dry and gritty feeling we sometimes experience in our eyes during the cold months can be made worse by dehydration.

Andrew Preston 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 not seem to make sense but it’s actually a vital contribution to the oil content of the tears.’

Stop the spread of infection

At this time of year, many people suffer from respiratory infections such as the common cold and flu. These can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling irritated. By washing your hands before touching your eyes, you can help prevent cross infection from bacteria in coughs and sneezes.

The winter is also an ideal time to get your eyes tested as poor light conditions can make you susceptible to eyestrain.

Andrew Preston 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 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.’

Everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or sooner if you are experiencing problems.

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