Eye care doesn’t take a holiday
As December is upon us and the Lights of Hannukah will burn bright as does Rudolf’s Nose leading Santa to your home, so, does Old Man Winter arrives on Dec. 21, bringing bitterly wintry blasts to nip at our faces and eyes and when the New Years celebration happen so can eye injuries.
Because Hopewell – Lambertville Eye https://www.seelife.net/ know that eye care and vision health never take a holiday. So here are a few tips for our community on eye care under the current seasonal conditions:
Cold air and dry eyes
With lower humidity in the air in winter, that cold air blowing on our faces can take a toll on the eyes in the winter. A cold wind can cause the moisture in the eye to evaporate.
Humidity is generally low, especially in the winter. The cold wind seems to irritate eyes more than warm and hot wind. Many people here work outside and spend leisure time outside even in the winter."
Frequent lubrication with artificial tears helps alleviate the dryness, inside and outside. Eye lubricants, Eyelid scrubs and skin care is highly advised as a treatment or a preventive procedure. A reasonable treatment most people feel they can perform daily are lid scrubs with a warm washcloth wrapped around a finger and aimed at the baseline of lashes with eyes closed for about 20 seconds. This helps stimulate blood flow where the glands produce oil for the tear film. Heat application can also be accomplished in the shower or with the use of heat masks.
Hot air and contact lenses
Contact lens wearers do need to protect the eye surface from wind and extreme cold to keep their contacts comfortable and clear with outdoor protective eyewear and the proper use of lubricant drops to prevent lens drying and discomfort. Indoors can be challenging too, whether it's hot air from vents in cars, homes or workplaces that is blowing directly into eyes. Patients' lenses may feel drier, scratchier and their vision may even fluctuate.
As well, while at work, the combination of a dry eye environment and the reduced blinking while on devices, can further exacerbate contact lens. A desktop humidifier and more frequent application of rewetting drops can help.
One of the most challenging environments is the car, especially on long commutes when the defroster and heat are running. The hot dry air blows right into your eyes, drying out your contact lenses. In extreme situations, vision declines and lenses have been known to pop off. Consider using a small USB-powered humidifier. There are humidifier designs made to fit in the car cup holder and others that go inside a standard 16.9 oz bottle of water. Managing the dry environment can keep you loving your lenses throughout the winter months."
Learn about contact lens care.
Wearing protective eyewear such as wrap - around sunglasses, goggles for safety whether they are doing chores around their homes (shoveling) or playing winter sports (skiing).
Eye injuries that have resulted in permanent loss of vision caused by the patient punching their own eye while shoveling snow, snowball fights, excessive UV exposure and even injuries caused by patients setting up seasonable decorations outdoors as well as indoors.
All the doctors of Hopewell and Lambertville Eye www.seelife.net highly suggest wearing sunglasses and hats as protection from ultraviolet rays. Snow can reflect 80% of sunlight. Bright winter days with a snow cover are even more detrimental because of the increased UV exposure due to reflection of light off the snow surface and can cause UVA damage leading to exposure keratopathy, development of cataracts and retinal damage over time.
Most people think of sunglasses for summer wear. However, it is important to remind patients to wear sunglasses that provide UV-A or UV-B rays protection even during the winter since harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach the eyes even on cloudy winter days.
Avoid Eye Injuries from decorations.
Consider using flameless or battery powered menorahs and other festive candles, as flames can cause thermal burns to the eyes and skin. Take precautions while decorating and admiring your Christmas tree, as this holiday essential can come with an overlooked hazard. Be alert around branches and pine needles, especially as you decorate. They can become lodged in your eyes if you fall or walk into them. Be careful around glass and pointed ornaments on the tree or around the house. Keep them out of the reach of children.
Gifts and Eye Injuries
Gifts can even be a source of eye injuries Follow the age recommendations for children’s toys. A recent study shows that 96% of parents do not follow age labels and recommendations for toys. These suggestions are based on kids’ developmental abilities at a given age and not on a child’s intelligence. Not following these recommendations can lead to misuse of a toy and potential injury.
BB, pellet and paintball guns can be hazardous. Provide protective eyeglasses for children using these items. These guns should only be used with adult supervision. While toys such as foam-dart-shooting guns might appear safe due to the soft projectiles, they can cause serious eye injury. Instruct children not to aim for the face while playing with these toys, and always supervise them during play.
Some other tips from Hopewell and Lambertville Eye www.seelife.net:
- Avoid Dehydration: Drinking water is essential for overall health and helps to keep the eyes moist.
- Don't touch your eyes without first washing your hands, in order to prevent such highly contagious diseases as conjunctivitis.
- See your Hopewell and Lambertville Eye seelife.net for a comprehensive eye examination, since the wintry conditions can aggravate dry eye disease.
If you do develop any concerns with your eyes during the holiday season, or at any other time – please call us Hopewell 609-466-0055 Lambertville 609-397-7020 or our emergency number 609-213-5008. Hopewell and Lambertville Eye www.seelife.net