Swinton Specsavers are advising local residents on how to safeguard their eyes from the harsh effects of icy winds and central heating which often leave eyes feeling gritty, dry and bloodshot.

This can cause discomfort for many during the winter months.  Anthony Showman, store director, at Swinton Specsavers on The Parade, is sharing a few helpful tips which will help prevent eye soreness.

Things you can do to prevent eye irritation

Turning down your central heating, dodging car heaters, particularly at face level, and sitting away from direct heat such as gas or electric heaters are just a few ways of reducing the annoyance of dry eyes this winter. The gritty feeling and dryness we occasionaly experienced in our eyes during winter can also be made worse by dehydration.

Anthony Showman said: ‘While many 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.’

Stop the spread of bacteria

At this time of year many people suffer from the common cold and flu. These are respiratory infections and 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, cross infection from bacteria in coughs and sneezes can be prevented.

Anthony 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.’

Poor light conditions throughout winter makes it an ideal time to get your eyes tested due to the increased risk of eye strain. Everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or sooner if you are experiencing problems.

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