Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Healthy This Winter

As the cold weather sets in, the warm clothes come out and we start to layer up. While it’s important to keep warm, it’s just as important to consider your eyes. The dry and cold air can cause irritation, itchiness, burning sensations, and even blurred vision. While wrapping your eyes in warm fabric will keep your eyes protected from the cold, it isn’t realistic. Below are a few tips and tricks to keep your eyes protected and healthy this winter.

Give your eyes moisture

Dry eyes are a common experience during the winter months. While it can be a chronic condition for some patients regardless of the season, for many, winter is a difficult time because of the changes in the environment, indoors and outdoors. Using a preservative-free lubricating drop during the day or a thicker gel at night when you are sleeping can reduce the discomfort that comes from winter’s assault on our eyes.  You can also use a humidifier in your home or office, which will help keep the air around you more bearable. We also suggest keeping one by your bed for an easier night’s rest and a better start to your morning.

Wear sunglasses

Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean the winter sun can’t harm your eyes. If you are in a climate where it snows, the reflection from the sun can be damaging to your vision. Winter sports enthusiasts should always wear goggles or glasses that block HEV, UVA and UVB light. Even if you’re not one to hit the slopes, wearing sunglasses this winter will keep your eyes safe. Sunglasses and/or goggles will also help protect your eyes from dirt, ice, and other debris.

Eat foods rich in omega 3 and zinc

What you put in your body is almost as important as what you wear to protect your eyes. Foods high in vitamin E and zinc are highly beneficial to overall eye health. Zinc helps improve enzymes found in the retina of your eye, and foods that contain high levels of Omega 3, such as Salmon, help protect the blood vessels within your eyes. Below is a list of foods that will help maintain overall eye health this winter.

  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cranberries
  • Nuts

Not only will these foods help keep your eyes healthy this winter, but they will help in preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Drink a lot of water

Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day is common practice, but it’s even more important during the cold winter months. If you spend a good amount of time outdoors, this will help keep your eyes from becoming too dry.

Refrain from touching your eyes

When the doors and windows are shut, and the heat is turned on, allergens begin circulating in the air. This may cause irritation in your eyes, such as itchiness, but it’s important to keep your hands away from your eyes. If you are particularly prone to winter allergens, consider changing the filters in your furnace and vacuum cleaner.