Here comes the cold!
The winter season transforms the world outside and makes us adjust our daily routines to prepare for these transformations.
During the colder months we make numerous adjustments to our environment and wardrobe to adapt to the chilling effects of winter. It is important to remember that our bodies and health are often significantly affected by the changes that occur during the winter months.
There is no shortage of ways the cold can bring inconvenient changes to our daily lives. Common symptoms of cold winter weather include runny noses, chapped lips, dry skin, and frozen fingers.
However, there is one part of our body that often receives the worst of the winter weather -- our eyes.
Both the harsh winter winds outside and the dry heat radiating inside can cause a sudden onset of moisture evaporation from our eyes.
The result is a significant increase in dry eyes.
Dry eye leads to a number of eye symptoms including itching, burning, fluctuating vision, blurred vision, eye pain, and/or excessive watering to compensate for the dryness.
It is nearly impossible to avoid dry eyes all together in the winter months, but there are steps that you can take to ensure that your eyes stay as hydrated and healthy as possible this winter season.
1. Humidify Your Home
During the winter months, a home’s humidity level can dip below the 30-55 percent range that is required for our eyes to stay adequately lubricated. Consider bringing a humidifier into your home to improve the ambient humidity. Additionally, consider leaving off the exhaust in your bathroom while you are showering.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Even mild dehydration can negatively affect the hydration of the eyes. This is especially significant in winter because cold temperatures can dampen the body’s thirst mechanism, while artificial heat speeds the evaporation of tears. Keep your eyes hydrated by drinking water throughout the day and increasing your intake of fluid-rich foods (soup, fruits, vegetables).
3. Increase Your Omega 3s
The dryness of the winter season can contribute to inflammation of the eyes tear glands. This can lead to a decrease in their secretion and an increase in evaporative tear loss. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease the amount of inflammation in these tear glands and improve the quality of their secretions, thus decreasing tear evaporation. If your diet is low in these essential nutrients, consider taking a fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement.
4. Heat Your Seat
On a cold day, your first instinct when getting into your car is to blast the heat on high until you warm up. Sitting in front of the forced air vent is essentially the same as holding a hair dryer to your eyes. They can become very dry, very quickly. Consider heating your feet and/or turning on your seat warmer until you are at a comfortable temperature.
Dry eye is a common occurrence and is exacerbated during the winter months. It can lead to significant discomfort and a decreased quality of life. The understanding of dry eye disease continues to improve and new therapeutic options continue to emerge. If you are suffering from dry eyes, itching, burning, fluctuating vision, blurred vision, eye pain, and/or excessive watering, then schedule a dry eye evaluation today. We would love to help you find treatment plan that works for you!
It should come as no surprise that Americans today are living much longer than past generations. We’re also aging differently than our parents and grandparents. Baby boomers are entering their retirement years, but they aren’t about to slow down. Instead, they are looking for breath-taking experiences; and with this adventurous mindset comes the need to travel – specifically the need to travel by car. No matter the distance, getting behind the wheel of a car should be taken seriously and approached with safety in mind.
To keep yourself safe consider these proactive tips to keep your vision in tip-top shape.
Polarized sunglasses are all the rage these days. And why not? There are many benefits to wearing polarized lenses, such as reducing eyestrain and improving vision by blocking excess glare.
All of which is great if you are planning to buy new sunglasses. But what if you already own a pair and don't know or remember whether they are polarized? Do you have to just buy a new pair? Not necessarily. There are several easy ways to determine whether or not your current sunglasses are already polarized. Check out our guide to determining whether or not your sunglasses are already polarized—these tips might save you more than money—they could also save your eyesight.
Read This Article: This is so meta it may just blow your mind, but if you wear your sunglasses while reading this article, you may be able to determine whether they are polarized. That's because most modern computer screens utilize the same glare-reducing technology as polarized lenses. If you tilt your glasses while looking at a computer monitor through polarized glasses, portions of your screen will become blank or go dark. The same is true of LCD display screens such as the ones on a gas pump. Crazy, right?
Go Fishing: One of the primary benefits of wearing polarized lenses is cutting down on glare, such as the glare you get off a car windshield. Polarized sunglasses are also great at reducing the glare of the sun reflecting off water. If your sunglasses are polarized, instead of only seeing the surface of a lake or river, you will suddenly be able to see through the glare and into the water below. Catching all those fish down there, on the other hand, is up to you.
Phone A Friend: If you know somebody who owns polarized sunglasses, figuring out if your own lenses are polarized is as easy as phoning a friend. All you need is their cooperation - and, of course, their glasses. First, hold up your glasses and theirs simultaneously and look through both pairs at the same time. Then, rotate one pair of sunglasses about 60 degrees. If both pairs of glasses are polarized, the overlapping area will darken as they filter out excess light. If your pair isn't polarized, however, you won't notice any difference.
If you determine that your sunglasses aren’t polarized, a trip to see us can solve this problem. We can swap out the lenses in any frames for polarized lenses. For those full-time glasses wearers, you can even have us add your prescription to your polarized sunglasses.
Complete Vision Care, Inc