Come winters, and people start complaining about pesky reflex tears and dry eye symptoms. Now, we all know how to take care of our dry skin, but what about the dry eyes?
We spoke to a few experts about how to protect the eyes from icy wind and here’s what you need to know.
Keep your eyes UV protected
“No matter what, don’t get rid of those sunglasses as harmful UV rays can still reach your eyes,” said Dr Parul Sharma, head of department, ophthalmology, Max Hospital, Gurgaon. In worst case scenario, if you are wallowing in the snow, your eyes can get sunburnt by the reflection. Just don your snow goggles.
Dr. Sudipto Pakrasi, chairman, Division of Ophthalmology, Medanta- The Medicity, Gurgaon said, “What most people are unaware of is that even on a grey day UV rays can pass through the clouds and affect your eyes. In most youngsters this can cause retinal degeneration.”
Go for the one that boasts of 100% UV protection.
Heaters and Humidifiers
Winters can be a difficult time for contact lens users as it can lead to additional dryness. “Instead of radiative heaters go for those oil-based convective heaters. It warms up slowly and keeps the moisture in the air intact,” added Dr Pakrasi.
We spoke to Dr Sameer Kaushal, senior consultant, ophthalmology, Artemis Hospitals who suggested, “Keep your blower/heater setting as low as possible and away from your face.”
In areas with indoor heating use a moisture humidifier to create a balance.
Fluid intake is less in winter. Keep yourself hydrated, your body needs it.
Take a break every 15 minutes and close your eyes for 15 seconds (Photo:Shutterstock)
"Drink at least two litres of water everyday irrespective of the season," said Dr Pakrasi.
In extreme cases you have science to your rescue.
“If you are a working professional and end up spending long hours in front of your computer, use eye-drops around 4-5 times a day in winters. Stress along with dry weather can cause severe irritation in eyes. And if you are a home-maker, small dosages about 2-3 times a day should suffice,” said Dr Kaushal.
Give your eyes some rest and protect it from smog
“Too much time on the computer is harmful. Take a break every 15 minutes and close your eyes for 15 seconds. This will keep your eyes lubricated,” said Dr Sharma.
It’s a small step towards protecting your eye, but you still can’t escape the smog once you step outside. Leaden sky and grey-brown cloud of smog is a common sight in most metros in winter.
“Smog causes acidic response in the eye. Small particles and gases react with the tear film leading to irritation," said Dr Pakrasi.
Bundle up: wear an eyeglass to protect your eyes from smog and debris.