With the cooler temperatures and dry, crisp air that accompanies winter, many people experience changes in their skin and hair. Similar to the skin and hair, changes in the eyes can also occur, and it is important to adopt eye care practices that are compatible with the change in seasons.
Dry eyes are a common complaint during the winter months. While increased dryness may seem unavoidable, implementing a few easy practices can help the eyes retain moisture. In addition to protecting the eyes from the sun’s harsh rays, sunglasses can also provide a barrier against the wind and cold temperatures when worn outdoors. Wearing sunglasses can be especially helpful for contact lens wearers, who may feel that their lenses are especially dry and uncomfortable during the winter season. Those who participate in water or snow-based winter sports should also consider using polarized lenses to reduce reflective glare during the winter months.
Eye drops can be used for contact lens wearers as well as people who do not wear lenses to ease dryness that does not seem to be eliminated by wearing protective eye wear. Consulting an optometrist before purchasing over-the-counter eye drops is recommended as there are many varieties available. If warm, dry air inside the home is causing dryness, using a humidifier may be helpful.
Glasses wearers may find that their lenses fog during the winter. Fogging can be eliminated by wiping the lenses with a solution made of one part white vinegar and three parts water. Anti-fogging solutions are also available for purchase.
While the cold, harsh weather of the winter months may make the eyes uncomfortable and cause minor interference with eye wear, implementing a few simple remedies can provide for a smooth transition into the winter season. For those who wear corrective lenses and those who have clear, unaided vision alike, protecting the eyes from the harsh winter elements and replenishing vital moisture is equally important.