During the winter we take several steps to ensure a healthy body. We wear extra layers of clothes to keep warm, we use lip balm to prevent our lips from chapping, and we wash our hands more often to ward off colds and flus. However, most people do not realize that they should also be taking certain steps during the winter months to avoid common vision problems. Here are some tips to keep your eyes protected during the freezing cold winter season:

Moisture

As you know the dry air of winter can wreak havoc with your skin, which can cause chapped lips and dry and damaged hair. However, not everyone notices the effect the winter weather has on their eyes. The heat from heaters has a drying effect on your eyes causing discomfort and in certain cases pain. To avoid eye problems, sit back from heat sources including fireplaces and turn the vents in your car away from your face to help cut down on dryness. You can also use eye drops and a humidifier to keep eyes moist and comfortable.

UV Protection

Most people tuck away their sunglasses and aren’t as concerned about the glare of the sun in the winter. However the pure white snow and sun can do twice the damage due to the added reflection of light. It is even more important to wear sunglasses with UV protection when skiing or participating in other outdoor winter activities. It is not just the brightness of winter that can do damage, that blustery wind can be abrasive and drying as well. Sunglasses can help provide protection from both wind and glare.

Overall Protection

Whether you are hitting the slopes or using a snow blower, winter poses added risk to get debris in your eyes. Make sure when doing work outside you are wearing protective goggles, preferably with UV protection. If your goggles don’t have UV protection make sure your goggles will fit over your UV protected sunglasses. Using snow blowers can be particularly dangerous not only for you but for people in the general area. Keep kids safely away when using a snow blower. Activities such as skiing, snow shoeing and hiking can also kick up debris leading to potentially serious vision problems.

Protecting your eyes from winter hazards will help you avoid damage to the cornea and reduce your risks of vision problems such as cataracts. Speak to your eye doctor about the best eye drops and sunglasses for winter eye care.

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