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Best Ways To Take Care of Your Eyes This Winter

When the cold weather hits we reach for our scarves, gloves and winter coats to keep warm. But keeping our eyes moist in the cold is just as important.

Cold temperatures, dry outdoor air and dry indoor heat all cause the eye to dehydrate, leading to pain and swelling, blurred vision, a scratchy or burning sensation, and teary eyes.

Dryness and irritation can be particularly debilitating for those who wear contact lenses or suffer from chronic dry eyes – a condition in which the eyes produce a low quality tear film. Taking proper care of your eyes during the winter prevents corneal infections that may permanently affect your vision.

Take care of your eyes this winter with these helpful tips:

  • Wear sunglasses. When outdoors in the cold, wear sunglasses with ultraviolent (UV) protection to guard your eyes from the drying effects of the wind and the harmful rays of the sun.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink many fluids to help your body fend off dry eyes. Water is essential to keeping our organs functioning properly and rehydrating the eyes.
  • Use a warm washcloth. A warm, damp compress assists with tear secretion for dry eyes. Applying a warm washcloth on each eye for two to three minutes per eye can help create moisture and soothes scratchy, irritated and swollen eyes.
  • Use a humidifier. Humidifiers combat dry indoor air that floods our homes when we turn up the thermostat. They also do wonders for dry, itchy eyes.
  • Keep distance from heat sources. Sitting further away from heaters or radiators can help you avoid dry eyes.

If you suffer from dry, irritated, swollen or itchy eyes in non-winter months, visit your ophthalmologist for an eye exam and professional consultation.

Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 35 years of practice experience who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Coastal Jersey Eye Center features an optical center, Classic Eyewear, which provides eyeglass frames and lenses to suit every style and budget. For more information on eye exams or to schedule an appointment, please call the Linwood office at 609.927.3373 or 609.465.7926 for the Cape May Court House office. Visit online at www.CoastalJerseyEye.com.