Staff at an opticians in Cleveleys are advising local residents on how to safeguard their eyes from the uncomfortable effects of cold winds and central heating which can leave eyes feeling bloodshot, dry and gritty.

As a result of this, winter can be a very irritating time for many. That's why Karen Simpson, store manager at Cleveleys Specsavers on Victoria Road West, is offering a handful of tips and facts which will help stop eye soreness.

Tips to reduce dry eyes throughout winter

The gritty sensation and dryness we sometimes experience in our eyes during the winter months can be made worse by dehydration. By 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, you are reducing the risk of irritating dry eyes this winter. 

Karen Simpson 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.’

Prevent cross infection

Many people suffer from the common cold and flu especially at this time of year. These are respiratory infections and can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling irritated. You can stop cross infection from bacteria in coughs and sneezes by washing your hands before touching your eyes.

Karen Simpson added: ‘It may surprise many but, even though it is winter, sunglasses are still very 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.’

The winter is an ideal 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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