Why Taking Care of Your Eyes during Winter Is So Important By Gordon Wong, OD on February 23, 2021

Close-up of woman’s eye reflecting the skyEven with cold weather, winter can be a wonderful time. Whether you prefer to spend it mostly inside, or if you are more inclined to frolic outside in the snow, your eyes will need extra care and protection during these months.

Why is taking care of your eyes during winter so important? Here, our expert optometrists at GW Eye Associates will break it down for you. Consider joining us at our locations serving La Jolla, Carmel Valley, or San Diego, CA for further info and a consultation to explore your optometry needs.

Dry Eyes

During winter, the humidity drops and we are left with a lot of cold, dry air, which dehydrates our eyes. Another contributing factor to dry eyes in winter is that we keep our homes heated, which dries air out even more.

We recommend these tips on combating dry air during winter:

  • Wear Protective Goggles - Something like ski goggles works incredible well. Goggles help block the wind, which further dry your eyes out.
  • Stay Hydrated - Drinking water throughout the day will not only aid your eyes, your overall health will also improve. By maintaining hydration, your eyes can stay protected from the cold and dryness.
  • Lower Your Home’s Temperature - The already dry air only gets dryer with hotter temperatures. Consider bundling up with a sweater or blanket inside instead of cranking up the heat.
  • Use Artificial Tears - Sometimes, we need a little extra help. Talk to your optometrist to find out which brand of lubricating eye drops they recommend.
  • Get a Humidifier - This one is great for homebodies. Keep your indoor air humid, and your eyes suffer less.

Snow Blindness

Your eyes will have to contend with more than just dry air. A phenomenon known as snow blindness can occur, potentially causing serious damage to your eyes.

When snow blankets the ground, it catches sunlight and bounces it around. While freshly fallen snow is beautiful to behold, those UV rays could give your corneas sunburn, even when it is overcast or cloudy.

While out in the snow, wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays, and wear a high-SPF sunscreen for maximum protection.

Glued to the Screen

As we stay inside and get cozy, we tend to use our electronic devices more often. With shorter days and colder weather, going outside becomes less frequent for most people. On top of that, seasonal depression can get us down, and we look to our devices for some comfort. The constant light in your eyes can cause eyestrain and damage over time.

Consider these recommendations for better ocular health in winter:

  • Use a Warm Light Filter - Cool light is bluer and more harsh on your eyes. Most computers, tablets, and phones these days have a night mode or warm mode which tints your screen orange. Orange light also helps you maintain a normal sleep rhythm.
  • Lower Your Screen Brightness - A dimmer screen projects less light, meaning your eyes take less of a beating. This also helps you fall asleep, so combine it with a warm light to get better sleep and give your eyes a much needed rest.
  • Look Away from the Screen Every 20 Minutes - Give your eyes a break every now and then. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes, focusing on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Find Screenless Pastimes and Hobbies - Cutting down on your screen time will benefit not only your eyes, but your mental health as well. The real world has a lot to offer, we just have to be willing to explore it. Take time to exercise, read a book, complete some puzzles, cook, or meditate.

Join Us for a Consultation

Take charge of your vision and keep your eyes healthy with an eye exam. We can help you feel prepared and ready for anything winter has to throw at you. Give us a call at (858) 454-4699 or visit our contact page to schedule an appointment today.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association
  • NVISION

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.

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