Specsavers Runcorn are advising residents on how to protect their eyes from the harsh effects of central heating and winter winds, that can often leave eyes feeling bloodshot, gritty and dry.

Winter can be an uncomfortable time for many, so Chris Graham, store director at Runcorn Specsavers, is offering a couple of helpful tips and facts which will help prevent eye soreness.

Helpful hints 

Turning the temperature down on your central heating, avoiding car heaters, especially at face level, and sitting at a distance from direct heat such as gas or electric heaters are just a few ways of reducing the irritation of dry eyes. The gritty feeling and dryness we sometimes experienced in our eyes during the winter months can also be advanced by dehydration.

Chris said: ‘While most enjoy a hot drink at this time of year, it is good advise to 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.’

Cold and Flu warnings

At this time of year alot of people suffer from the common cold and flu. As respiratory infections, they 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.

Chris added: ‘It may surprise many but, 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 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. Everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or sooner if you are experiencing problems.

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