Eye care tips for winter by Dr Tarun Panda
Dr Tarun Panda
Eye care during winter is equally important as in summer season. Aristotle had said, “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” And to appreciate the beauty of a snowflake the only and most necessary requirement is a pair of healthy eyes. A pair of eyes is the most precious organ of human body. To keep it healthy we need to take abundant precautions especially in winter. Here are some eye care tips for winter:
- Try to avoid dryness of eyes which can be outcome of exposure to blowing air and heat. We can use lubricating eye drops and avoid heat sources areas. Humidifiers can also be beneficial to check irritation from dry eyes.
- Use of UV Protection sun glasses: – These glasses work wonders in winter season too. Not only they protect us from UV rays while outing but also from harmful rays that reflects from snow thereby preventing from snow blindness.
- Goggles Protects our eyes from accidental injuries from blooming tree twigs, limbs and flower plants and also keeps our eyes hydrated instead of drying out from winter wind.
- Sometimes a common cold or FIV infection (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) during winter can cause painful and puffy eyes. To avoid this, we should keep our hands clean and hygienic. Besides, we should try to be in a clean environment as such as possible.
- Use of excess makeup accessories in winter, particulars by women, can open up the increased chances of infection like conjunctivitis and lid infections.
- Use of excess room heaters during winter can also damage eyes by leaving less moisture in air and eyes. Humidifiers can come to rescue at earliest but in resistant cases one should use lubricating eye drops or should consult an eyes specialist.
- Remaining hydrated is a must even in winter season to keep our eyes hydrated. One can do so by consuming sufficient water and fluid rich foods such as soup, juicy fruits and vegetables.
- Consuming fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids like Tuna, Salmon and Shrimp or fish oil supplements can increase amount of tears in duct glands.
- Even excess use of mobile phones and electronic devices in winter may develop dry eyes and irritating eyes. Hence, we need to follow the 20-20-20 rule that is, in every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds for reducing eyestrain.
- Use of hat or hood can also be beneficial to protect eyes against cold wind and debris.
- One should remember that irritation of eyes is always not due to infections. Rather it can be due to dry eyes which often get less diagnosed due to our less awareness. Dry eyes can be deadly sometimes.
The writer is an assistant professor (Eye) at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack.