Winter is here — are your eyes ready? Here’s what you should know about caring for your eyes in the colder months. Dr. J. Michael Witherington OD is the founder of the Fort Myers Eye Center OptiExpress, one of the most trusted resources for eye health in South Florida. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.
Summertime isn’t the only season where sun protection is needed — did you know that you can get just as badly sunburned in the snow in winter as you can on the beach in summer? When we think of sunburns, we mostly think about forgetting to reapply sunblock at the beach and ending up with a swimsuit-shaped burn line at the end of the day, but you can just as easily get snow-goggle-shaped burn lines during a ski trip.
That’s why sun protection is critically important during all outdoor activities. If you plan on participating in any winter sports or just enjoying the brisk snowfall, here are a few things to consider before heading out into the great white open.
Combat Dry Eyes
Cold air is dry air, and during the winter dry eyes are a common irritant. One way you can ensure your eyes stay properly lubricated is by making sure you drink lots of water throughout the day. Indoors, you can also use a humidifier, which can help keep eyes and nasal passages comfortable.
Protect Against Snow Blindness
If you’ve ever been skiing, you’ve either experienced or at least heard about snow blindness. This is a phenomenon where the sunlight reflects upon the white snow and essentially gives your eyes a sunburn. This can be quite dangerous because it doesn’t occur suddenly — it can sometimes take hours to notice symptoms. It can be particularly dangerous for skiers and snowboarders because the reflection of the sun in the snow is more intense at higher altitudes. If you plan on spending any time on the slopes this winter, make sure you invest in some goggles with 100 percent UV protection that wrap around the head. Also, don’t just wear them on the slopes; wear them at all times outdoors.
Winter goggles are your best bet if you plan on spending time in the snow because they offer greater coverage and security than standard sunglasses. If you plan on skiing or snowboarding, however, avoid polarized lenses — they can make variations in the terrain difficult to see.
If you’re experiencing eye discomfort now that the colder weather has set in, OptiExpress has been a go-to Fort Myers eye center for more than two decades, offering comprehensive eye health services, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab. If you want to schedule an appointment for an eye exam, please visit our contact page today!