Ask the Optician – Dry Eyes in the Winter Months
Mike Stone, Store Director, Specsavers Opticas Calpe
January’s cold winds, wet weather and central heating can all play havoc with your eyes, leaving them feeling dry, gritty and bloodshot. Symptoms can lead to longer term problems if left unchecked, therefore this month, the team from Specsavers wanted to explain dry eye and offer a few hints to help prevent eye soreness over the coldest months of the year.
What is dry eye?
The term “dry eye” is used when we don’t produce enough tears or our tears evaporate too quickly. People with dry eyes often have plenty of water in their tears but not enough oil. Dry eyes can be caused by heating and air conditioning, windy and cold conditions and certain medications.
How can it be avoided or reduced?
Don’t get dehydrated - Cut back on the coffee and drink more water, use eye drops and sprays to add extra lubrication.
Wash your hands before touching your eyes to prevent cross infection from the viruses in coughs and sneezes which can inflame your conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the whites of your eyes, leaving them feeling irritated.
Reduce the setting on your central heating, avoid car heaters, especially at face level, and sit away from direct heat such as gas or electric heaters.
Keep the sunglasses handy – As the sun is low in the sky at this time of year and can be uncomfortably bright for drivers, sunglasses reduce this and protect against UV radiation.
Winter is a great time to get your eyes tested as poor light conditions can make you susceptible to eyestrain. Specsavers Opticas stores in Calpe and Jávea, are currently offering free advanced eye tests. Visit www.specsavers.es to find your nearest store and book an appointment.