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5 Tips for Healthy Eyes This Winter

Winter is here, and the Arizona desert can be particularly harsh on the eyes given the dry conditions. As temperatures decline, air becomes crisp, cold and dry – and incapable of holding humidity. Cold desert winds can affect your vision and dehydrate your eyes and skin, causing them to lose moisture and become irritated. 

Participating in outdoor winter activities can exacerbate this problem, especially when UV rays reflect off of snow and directly into the eye. Once you’re inside from the cold and you flip on your heater, that warm, dry air can further dehydrate eyes and skin. So what can you do to maintain eye health during these months? Here are 5 tips to help keep your eyes healthy this winter.   

Keep your eyes moist

When indoors, keep your distance from heaters and radiators, and use a humidifier at home to improve dry air conditions. If you must use a heater, stay as far away as possible and consider layering up on clothing to stay warm and avoid eye discomfort. Drink a lot of water, and use moisturizing and/or rewetting eye drops. Ask your Horizon eye care provider which drops are best-suited for you and keep them with you at all times. 

Wear sunglasses

During the winter, even on cloudy days it is imperative to protect your eyes from UV (ultraviolet light) rays; even more when it is overcast. Wearing sunglasses reduces strain, filters light properly, and helps you maintain good vision. When driving or spending time outside for more than 10 minutes, make sure you wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection. If you’re frequently participating in winter sports, consider investing in a good pair of goggles with UV and glare protection.

Wear eyeglasses more frequently

Consider swapping out your contact lenses for eyeglasses a few times a week. Eyeglasses can help protect your eyes from the elements, and swapping out your contacts for glasses every once in a while will help you maintain moisture in the eyes.

Cut back on devices

Being inside during the winter increases the amount time we spend in front of gadgets and devices, and that increased screen time can harm the eyes. Try and give your eyes a break by dimming the light in your device settings and taking frequent, 20-minute breaks.

Maintain regular eye appointment checkups

If you experience frequent eye irritation and dry eyes, make sure to have regular eye checkups to ensure all concerns are addressed. 

If you have questions or concerns, we are always here to answer them and help you maintain good eye health year round! Contact us for more information.