Chilly winds, dry air and bright sunlight reflecting off the snow—no matter where you live, there are certain elements brought about by the cold winter months that can cause damage to your eyes. Knowing what things to look out for this winter is vital to protecting yourself from potential eye health hazards. Take preventative measures today to save the quality of your eyesight in the future!
If you’re not already taking care of your vision, now is the time to start. To begin with, it is important to have annual eye checkups and to upgrade prescription glasses in Oshkosh as your vision needs change. Seasonal changes are another thing to consider in relation to overall vision health, such as the shift from autumn to winter. A cold weather change has the reputation of wreaking havoc on a person physically, and the eyes are no exception.
Did you know that your eyes are a pair of delicate organs? In addition to providing you with the gift of sight, your eyes help you to sense light at multiple levels of brightness. During wintertime, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can be just as damaging as they are during the summer months, and their effect is greatly enhanced when you’re around snow. Here are some of the specific hazards you might encounter during the winter:
- UV rays: Those who enjoy snow sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and snow hiking, and even individuals living around snow and shoveling it from a driveway, should be aware of eye-damaging UV rays. These UV rays come from the sunlight bouncing off of the glimmering snow, ultimately reflecting into a person’s eyes and causing damage to their sensitive corneas.
- Wind: Another winter hazard is harsh winds that contribute to dry eyes. As they cause both pain and itchiness, cold outdoor winds whipping at your eyes are not only unpleasant, but bring on eye dryness to the point of a burning sensation. Developing red eyes after being outside in the cold is indicative of dry winter eyes, which may lead to poor eye health if your eyes are often exposed to cold dry conditions.
- Dry indoor air: Also, though not regarding to the same extent as outdoor winds, drier indoor air can dry your eyes out. What is a cause of dry eyes indoors? Lower indoor humidity levels form when warm indoor air from running heaters is combined with closed doors and windows to keep the cold out. To combat dryness, use eye drops, drink a lot of fluids and make use of a humidifier.
Since reflecting UV rays and dry eyes resulting from cold wind and dry indoor air can cause major damage to your eyesight and vision, it is important to invest in protective glasses and other eyewear that will help mitigate such wintertime damages. Wear ski or snow goggles and sunglasses with UV protection when doing snow or ice activities. If you spend extensive amounts of time outside during the winter, look into transition lenses to block out the bright sunlight and UV rays, as well as polycarbonate lenses, which are made of a lightweight, hard, impact-resistant plastic with UV protection manufactured directly into them.
Avoid the eye health hazards that winter can bring by visiting your local eye doctor for regular checkups, and be sure to ask about protective eyewear and prescription glasses in Oshkosh. For all of your vision health needs, come see the team at Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe today.