Eyesight care: How to protect your eyes during the cold winter months


Experts at the College of Optometrists warned that during darker evenings, pupils dilate, which can result in blurred vision. Furthermore, winter can be challenging as central heating can aggravate sore eyes. To combat such challenges, it will help to use a humidifier in the home. Another way to ease the discomfort of dry eyes is to use lubricating eye drops.

During colder and wetter weather, it is commonplace for people to stay indoors more often.

In doing so, not only is central heating going to be an issue for dry eye syndrome, but so is increased exposure to screens.

Whether it be from mobiles, TV, or computer work, prolonged exposure can lead to tired and even more dry eyes.

Experts recommend following the “20:20:20 rule”, where every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, and focus on something at least 20 feet away.

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Dry eye syndrome

The NHS outlined the symptoms of dry eyes, which can include:

  • Itchiness
  • Soreness
  • Grittiness
  • Redness
  • Blurriness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Watery eyes.

Dry eye syndrome might be exacerbated by wearing contact lenses, smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking some antidepressants.

To help look after your eyes, it is important to take steps to keep your eyes clean.

The NHS detail a three-step approach to ensuring your eyes are clean.


Firstly, soak a flannel in warm (not hot) water and gently press it on the area around your eyes.

Such a step helps the oil produced by the glands around your eyes to become runny.

Secondly, gently massage your eyelids with your finger or a cotton bud. This pushes the oils out of the glands.

And thirdly, clean our eyelids by soaking cotton wool in warm (not hot) water and gently wipe away any excess oil, crusts, bacteria, dust or grime that might have built up.

In order to help combat dry eyes, other treatment methods recommended by a pharmacist include gels and ointments.

Do book an appointment with an optician or doctor if you notice any change in the shape of your eyelids.

For cold, sunny days, experts at VisionExpress recommend wearing polarised sunglasses.

This is because, even during the winter sun, harmful UV rays can damage the eyes.

It is also helpful to consider the lighting situation in your home.

Poor lighting conditions can lead to unnecessary eye strain, redness, and fatigue headaches.

VisionExpress suggest using warm light bulbs over cool blue type bulbs “to create a more natural feel”.

Furthermore, instead of relying on one overhead light, VisionExpress suggest using multiple light sources.



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