The cold, harsh winter weather presents a few hazards to your health. Not only can it dry out and chap your skin, but it can also dry out your eyes, increasing your risk of corneal scratches and infections. To make sure winter does not land you at an emergency eye doctor appointment, follow these eye care tips.
Opt for glasses over contacts on the windiest days.
Cold winter wind can dry your eyes out at any time, but this effect is even more pronounced when you wear contacts. A gust of wind that dries your contacts out in the morning can leave you uncomfortable all day. The best strategy is probably to just avoid wearing contacts when the wind is really blowing. Stick to glasses those days.
If you really want to wear contacts to work on a windy day, bring them with you in your bag. Wear glasses to the office, and then insert your contacts in the bathroom. Remove them again and put your glasses back on before you go outside to return home.
Carry eye drops with you.
Whether or not you're a contact lens wearer, get into the habit of bringing lubricating eye drops with you. This way, if the harsh wind does dry out your eyes, you can do something about it rather than suffering all day.
Wear sunglasses when it's sunny.
The sun can come out in the winter. And when there's also snow on the ground, the reflected light can be downright blinding. Keep your sunglasses handy and put them on before stepping out into the winter sun. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car so you always have them on hand if you need them.
Add moisture to your air.
The air tends to get drier in the winter. You can't do much about the outdoor air, but you can control the humidity in your home. Making your home's air more moist will help keep your eyes from feeling too dry.
Consider adding a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC system. If this is not in your budget, you can purchase a small, portable humidifier and run it in the room where you spend the most time.
If you do notice that your eyes are consistently red, dry, scratchy, and sore, then head to the eye doctor. These could be signs that you have scratched corneas or are developing an eye infection.
Contact a company like West Bay Eye to learn more about eye care in all kinds of weather.