Regardless of which hemisphere you call home, the change of seasons is currently in full swing. Whether you’re pulling out warm sweaters or bathing suits, the shifting weather patterns can be a real problem for your eyes. While bothersome symptoms can occur any time of year, they can be particularly unpleasant during harsh winters and hot summers. And as we age, our eyes can become even more sensitive.
It’s important to take appropriate steps to care for your vision this time of year. Here are 7 ways to care for your eyes when the seasons change.
1. Invest In a Good Pair of Sunglasses
Blocking ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB) does more than keeping you from squinting. The sun’s harmful rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal damage. So wearing sunglasses to safeguard your eyes is critical. Even for those who wear contact lenses with UV protection, sunglasses still offer benefits since contact lenses may not block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
And it’s not only summertime when the sun’s rays are harmful. The sun reflecting off the snow can be just as damaging. Wearing sunglasses in cold weather is just as important and also offers protection from wind and cold air and can help shield the delicate skin around the eyes.
2. Wear Eye Protection For Outdoor Activities
When foreign bodies get into the eyes, it can be painful. Even the smallest piece of sand or dust can be problematic. So shielding your eyes when doing activities outdoors – from lawn mowing to snow shoveling – is a good idea. Wearing safety glasses can prevent most eye injuries from things such as dirt particles and small rocks.
3. Keep Eyes Lubricated
In the cooler months, the air tends to be dry both outdoors and in. And in the warmer months, air conditioning can remove humidity indoors, drying out the air. Regardless of the season, sometimes you need to use lubricating eye drops to keep your eyes moist and minimize the discomfort caused by dry eyes. Using a humidifier indoors can also help keep your eyes comfortable as the seasons begin to change.
4. Eat Healthy and Drink Plenty of Water
It’s true that carrots are good for your eyes, but so are many other foods rich in nutrients. There is growing evidence that some nutrients, particularly those found in fruits and vegetables, may actually lower your risk of developing eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Learn more about diet and cataract prevention here.
Drinking plenty of water is another great way to take care of your eyes in all kinds of weather.
5. Get Enough Sleep
You probably already know that getting enough sleep is important. But did you know that your eyes are counting on you to be rested as well? When you’re tired your eyes are more likely to feel dry and irritated. Also,studies show that without adequate sleep, the ability to perform visual tasks decreases. Poor visual acuity can cause everyday activities like driving and cooking to be potentially dangerous. Those are some good reasons to get more shut-eye.
6. Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
Contrary to popular belief, cold air doesn’t actually make you sick. However, factors like spending more time indoors in poorly ventilated areas and interacting with large groups of people (think school and holiday parties) can contribute to the spread of germs. Avoiding rubbing your eyes can not only keep your eyes healthy but can prevent introducing a virus into your system, keeping your whole body healthy.
Even though we tend to think of wintertime as cold and flu season, we are not immune to summertime illness. So it’s a good idea to develop healthy “non rubbing” habits all year long.
7. Get an Eye Exam
The single best thing you can do for your eyes is to get an annual eye exam. Winter, spring, summer or fall – the season doesn’t matter, but booking that appointment does. A comprehensive eye exam goes well beyond testing for blurry vision. Many eye conditions, such as cataracts, become more common after age 50 and catching them early offers the best possible outcome. Read more about questions to ask your eye doctor about cataracts.
Following these simple steps will go along way to keeping your eyes healthy through the change of seasons and all year long.
The Advanced IC-8 lens advantage
If you’ve been diagnosed with a cataract, discuss with your doctor all of your replacement lens options. The IC-8 lens offers many advantages over traditional (monofocal) and multifocal IOLs. It provides a natural range of vision from near to far, including mid-range vision needed to read a computer screen. With the IC-8 lens, one can achieve continuous and seamless vision at all distances. Learn more about the IC-8 lens.