With the cold weather at our doorstep, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your body for the dramatic change in temperatures, including your eyes. Winters in Michigan can take a toll on your eyes, but there are steps you can take to protect them.
Staying hydrated is important all year long, but it’s often forgotten in the cold months. It’s easy to remind yourself to drink plenty of water in the summer because it is so hot outside, but drinking water in the winter is just as important, even for your eyes. Drinking plenty of water during the day keeps your body hydrated. Drinking water also keeps your skin and your eyes moisturized. Dry eyes can be very uncomfortable; help avoid discomfort by staying conscious of the amount of water you drink.
Use a humidifier indoors
You not only experience dry air outdoors in the cold, but it also follows you indoors. Use a humidifier in your home. Keep it in the rooms where you spend the most time. Using a humidifier while you sleep will also help your eyes adjust to the dry air when you wake up every morning!
Even though we don’t see the sun as much in the winter as in the summer, harmful rays can still affect us. UV rays are still present in the winter and sometimes can be stronger. The sunlight can bounce off the bright white snow to produce a stronger light in your eyes. There can also be more flying debris in the winter when the wind picks up, such as snow, ice chips, and dirt. Protect yourself from flying debris by wearing sunglasses.
Wash your hands often
If it wasn’t drilled into your head over the past two years, we are here to remind you again to wash your hands frequently! Viruses tend to show up more during the winter months than any other time of the year. Viruses are most commonly transferred through hands to your eyes. Avoid touching your eyes and washing your hands frequently to prevent viruses and other eye-related sicknesses.
Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids help with eye dryness and itchiness. The oils from the omega-3 fatty acids help to produce more moisture in your eyes. Add an omega-3 fatty acid pill to your daily routine to help with discomfort in your eyes. Be sure to always consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet, for safety precautions.
The winter season can be lots of fun if you embrace the cold weather and take care of yourself. Use the above tips to feel more comfortable during the Northern Michigan winters!