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Top 5 Winter Eye Care Tips

During the summer, it is easier to remember to protecting our eyes with sunglasses and a hat. But the eyes and delicate eyelid skin can be even more at risk in the winter months. Often overcast skies and lack of direct sunlight makes us think that our eyes don’t need to be shielded from the invisible UV rays. But exposure to UV radiation in the winter can make the eyes more prone to cataracts, macular degeneration, periocular skin cancer and aging changes of the eyelid skin.

Top 5 Winter Eye Care Tips

Here are a few things that you can do to keep your eyes protected and safe during the winter:

  1. Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection – Light reflecting off of the snow can be even more damaging than light reflected off of water. Even if the sun is not shining, UV rays penetrate the cloud cover and can damage your eyes. So wear sunglasses every day.

  2. Wear a hat – Mechanical protection from a hat is the best way to protect your eyes and skin from damaging UV exposure. Insulated baseball caps are great, because they keep you warm and also have a brim to block the sun.

  3. Use sunscreen—Apply sunscreen every day, and reapply as needed. I keep a tube of sunscreen by my front door so I remember to apply every time I go outside.

  4. Wear proper eye protection when you are outside – Whether you are shoveling snow, doing yard work or hanging exterior holiday decorations, wear polycarbonate safety goggles to keep any foreign objects from penetrating your eyes and causing permanent damage.

  5. Keep lubricating drops on hand– Your eyes may become dried out or irritated by cold air and low humidity. Use moisturizing drops to keep them lubricated. I recommend preservative free artificial tear drops. I would start with one drop in each eye 4-5 times a day.  If your eyes still feel dry even with the lubricating drops, I would schedule an appointment to be evaluated. There are many great prescription treatments for dry eye.

Dr. Jessica Lattman

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