Winter brings some of the most beautiful holidays of the year, but it is also associated with low temperatures and precipitation. Whether this time of year is your favorite or you don’t like it, you need to prepare for it. Although most people drive more cautiously or wear warm clothes when going out, seasonal threats to eye health are often underestimated. They seem less obvious than icy roads or frosty mornings, but vision problems can be just as dangerous. How can cold have a negative effect on your eyesight?
1. Dry eyes
Cold outdoor and heated indoor air often have less moisture in them than in other environments. Some of us suffer from dry skin or chapped lips in the winter, but the cold wind can also dry out your eyes. To minimize its negative impact, you need to follow a proper drinking regimen and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Humidifiers also help against dry eyes. According to researchers from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, most people complain of dry eye in the winter – in the same number as in all other seasons combined.
2. Excessive tearing
While some people experience a lack of tears in the winter, others have the opposite problem. Excessive tearing can occur due to cold air, strong winds or seasonal allergies, which occur mainly in the spring months, but are no exception in the winter. Pay attention to when your eyes water, to find out the cause. “If the problem occurs when you go outside or if you are exposed to strong winds, wear sunglasses or goggles. As soon as you notice unwanted tearing in the room, try allergy medication and suitable eye drops. If you cannot determine the cause of the problem, and especially if affects your eyesight, see a doctor, “recommends MUDr. Enkela Hrdličková from the Lexum Eye Clinic.
3. Sensitivity to light
The winter sky may seem dark and gloomy, but snow and ice create many reflective surfaces that can dramatically increase the amount of light. Such situations typically occur, for example, when skiing, when the sun’s rays bounce off the snow. If you have sensitive eyes, you may have difficulty blinking, discomfort or other symptoms on clear days. Always protect your eyes when you go out for a long time, even just a walk.
4. Red eyes
Harsh winter conditions can cause reddening of the eyes, their sensitivity and even inflammation. Some people experience eyelid swelling and redness, with the exception of eyelid cramps and involuntary tics. These problems can be caused by dry eye, seasonal allergies or snow blindness. This is an acute state of corneal damage from UV radiation, which first manifests itself as a feeling of the presence of a foreign body in the eye, later pain and even an inability to open the eyes. “If you experience discomfort or cutting in your eyes, try applying a cool compress, such as a damp washcloth, and reach for an over-the-counter pain medication. If symptoms persist, it is better to consult a doctor who will determine the cause of the irritation,” adds MUDr. Hrdličková.
5. Vision changes
While many winter health problems are caused by increased light or reduced humidity, you may also experience problems due to freezing temperatures. Extremely low temperatures cause blood vessels in and around the blood vessels to constrict, sometimes leading to immediate changes such as blurring and double vision. There is a risk if you stay outside for a long time at temperatures well below freezing. If vision deterioration occurs, move to a warm environment as soon as possible, and if normal vision does not return after 30 minutes, seek medical attention.
Source: Tyden.cz by www.tyden.cz.
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