While many of us may be more familiar with the effects of long hours of bright sunshine on our eyes in the summer, we’re not always as aware of the problems we might experience in the cooler months. Long nights and cold weather can leave eyes feeling uncomfortable – discover how to tackle the typical issues and keep your eyes healthy through autumn and winter.
Combatting the cold
There’s quite a lot to contend with as we approach winter, from lower temperatures and higher winds, to snow and ice. Weather conditions can be unpredictable, leaving our eyes prone to dryness and irritation.
Consider using eye drops or eye spray to soothe dry, irritated or watery eyes – our extensive range of eye care products has a variety of solutions to treat the most common eye conditions. However, if symptoms persist, do get in touch with a healthcare professional.
Dealing with dry air
With most of us upping our thermostats to counteract the colder temperatures, our eyes often go from one extreme to another. If you notice your eyes feeling drier when you’re inside, it could be due to central heating.
Try using a humidifier to keep eyes moist, or apply a warm compress to thin the natural oils in your eyes and prevent them drying out. You could also consider using specialist eye care products designed for dry eyes.
Bright lights, dark nights
Just as your eyes are dealing with a change in temperature, they’re also faced with challenges due to changes in light levels. The longer hours of darkness and harsh indoor lighting can make this contrast even more aggravating for your eyes.
Whether it’s commuting to and from work or longer journeys, winter driving can put a real strain on your eyes. That’s because you might be concentrating more intently due to adverse weather conditions or adjusting to driving in the dark.
Consider wearing anti-glare driving glasses to minimise the effects of bright lights from other cars. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure your glasses (if you have them) and windscreen are clean – and give your eyes a well-deserved rest after long journeys.
Winter allergy woes
It’s only natural that we close our windows and doors to keep the warmth inside. This can make us more susceptible to dust mites and animal dander, resulting in itchy, irritated eyes.
Try to ventilate your living space whenever you can to allow fresh air to flow through. If it’s too cold to reasonably do so, you could try using an eye care product for irritated eyes. If your allergy symptoms are severe, or persist, consult your pharmacist or GP for further advice as you may need an antihistamine.
While we typically associate long nights and darkness with winter, we can often underestimate the intensity and brightness of low winter sunshine. Ensure you’re protected with appropriate sunglasses that have a ‘UV 400’ rating to shield your eyes and avoid UV damage.
Just a few self-help measures can prevent the autumn and winter months from taking their toll on your eyes. While symptoms of dryness and irritation are quite common in the colder months, if you experience severe discomfort, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out any other underlying conditions.
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