Most of us are familiar with the effects of warm weather and bright sunshine on our eyes. However, the colder months also bring some eye care challenges of their very own. Here are four of the most common fall eye problems and how you can resolve them.
Most people find that as the weather becomes colder and drier, it begins to have an effect on their skin. You may not realize it right away, but these environmental changes can also have an impact on your eyes. Just like your skin may start to dry out and feel tight and uncomfortable, so too might your eyes. Dry eyes are a common eye condition that can be more common in the winter months, particularly since the colder months also cause us to start using our home heating, which dries out the air in our indoor environment too.
Dry eyes can be unpleasant and make some day to day activities quite difficult. For example, if you usually wear contact lenses you may find that the dryness of your eyes makes it tricky to put them in or remove then, and they may feel uncomfortable when they are in place.
Overcoming dry eyes in fall/winter. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help alleviate your dry eyes during the colder seasons of the year. Over-the-counter artificial tears can be purchased, and these will add hydration to the surface of the eyes. Make sure that you administer these as directed. You could also try using a humidifier in your home or office to add some moisture to the environment. If you can’t achieve successful relief in these ways, your eye doctor may be able to recommend other treatments to help.
Most people associate damaged caused by UV light with the summer months and choose to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes as much as possible. However, summer isn’t the only month where our eyes are at risk due to UV exposure. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that UV light is present all year round, even on cloudy days. Nevertheless, fall and winter present a new challenge for keeping your eyes safe too. This is because in the colder seasons the sun shifts position, shining at a slightly different angle that hits usually just above the brow bone. As a result, people can experience irritation and even eye strain as the sun filters in from above. This also makes it harder for sunglasses to be as effective.
Overcoming the dangers of UV damage in the fall/winter. Sunglasses still represent the most effective solution for preventing sun damage and styles that are shown to block 100% of the sun’s rays should be worn as often as possible, even when it doesn’t seem particularly bright out. You can also choose to wear a hat with a brim on particularly bright days, which will help to stop UV light from creeping over the tops of your sunglasses.
The arrival of the colder seasons means shorter days and longer nights. Driving at night can be challenging for many people, particularly those who wear glasses or contact lenses. This is because headlights and streetlights can cause glare, while poorly lit areas can cause you to strain your eyes while you try and see clearly.
Overcoming difficulties driving in the dark. If you usually wear glasses or contact lenses, there are a few things that you can do to make it easier to drive in dusky/dark conditions. The first is to make sure that your glasses are exceptionally clean, as smudges can make it hard to see at the best of times! You should also consider getting an anti-glare coating on your lenses, which will help to reduce strain and lessen the effects of glare.
Spring/summer is also thought to be the time when allergies are at their most prevalent, but again, this is a common misconception. Some allergies are actually more likely to occur in winter – such as dust, dust mites, damp and animal dander. This is largely thought to be a result of closed windows, meaning less air circulation indoors. Whatever the reason, experiencing winter allergies can have a detrimental effect on your eyes. Itching, redness, excessive watering, and light sensitivity are just some of the signs of eye allergies.
Overcoming eye allergies in winter. Ventilation is crucial for overcoming environmental allergies, so where you can, make sure to open windows or consider an air purifier to eliminate the allergens as much as possible. Regular cleaning will help to remove dust and animal dander, while you can also consider over-the-counter allergy medications to provide further relief. Don’t be afraid to ask your eye doctor for specific advice.
Don’t suffer from fall eye problems unnecessarily. Speak to your eye doctor for further advice to prepare for the cooler months today.