As the icy winter weather sets in, Specsavers Widnes advise local residents on how best to protect their eyes from the harsh effects of cold winds and prevent central heating causing dry, gritty and bloodshot eyes.

Due to the irritation caused to the eyes during the winter months, Angela Perls, Specsavers store director on Albert Road, is offering a few helpful tips and facts which will help prevent eye soreness.

Tips to keep your eyes healthy this winter

Turning the setting down on your central heating, avoiding car heaters, particularly at face level, and sitting further away from direct heat such as gas or electric heaters are just a couple of ways to help reduce the irritation of dry eyes. The gritty sensation and dryness we sometimes experienced in our eyes during the winter months can be made alot worse through dehydration.

Angela 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.’

Prevent cross infection

Flu and the common cold are rife throughout winter and these respiratory infections can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling irritated. You can prevent cross infection from bacteria in sneezes and coughs by washing your hands before touching your eyes.

Angela 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 can make you more susceptible to eyestrain therefore winter is the ideal time for you to get your eyes tested. Everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or sooner if you are experiencing problems.

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