Eye health: Nutritionist reveals foods that protect your eyes
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The winter is a hard time for your sight, the cold air and high winds mean your eyes are more likely to dry out and the risk of eye-related conditions increases, including conjunctivitis.
Mark Shelton explains: “Catching a cold can have lots of side effects – one of them being viral conjunctivitis. Adults are especially prone to viral conjunctivitis if they have come into contact with someone who has a cold, or who has been coughing or sneezing, as it is very contagious.
“Lasting anywhere between 10 days and two weeks, conjunctivitis is a common infection causing inflammation of the conjunctiva – the tissue which lines the inside of the eyelid, and the membrane which covers the whites of the eyeball to keep it moist.
“Causing redness, discharge and pain in the eyes, conjunctivitis thrives in lower temperatures and dry air, just like a cold – meaning that from October onwards, people are more susceptible to it.”
Shelton added that the most common symptoms of conjunctivitis “is to have red, itchy and irritated eyes, but people might also suffer from a gritty feeling in the eyeballs, sticky eyelids and lashes and clear or yellow discharges from the eyes”.
He added: “It’s important to take as many steps as possible to prevent the spread of the conjunctivitis infection. Those suffering should start by boiling some water and letting it cool, before using clean cotton wool to gently rub the eyelashes and clean off any crusts or puss.
“Then they should dispose of the cotton wool immediately, so it doesn’t come into contact with anyone else’s skin. This process should be repeated three or four times a day until the infection clears.
“Contact lens wearers should avoid them until their eyes are better. And if your symptoms persist, an optician or GP can offer more advice.”
While conjunctivitis is a possibility, there are other issues to consider, including dry eyes.
Shelton explained further: “Colder weather is a typical culprit of causing dry eyes, and for a couple of reasons. Cold and high winds blowing into the face can cause eyes to dry out, but so too can having the heating on in the home or car to combat lower temperatures.
“Dry eye symptoms happen when a person’s eye glands aren’t producing enough tears to keep the eyes moist; if their tears are drying too fast or if their tears aren’t keeping their eyes wet effectively enough. Symptoms include the eyes being itchy or sore, feeling gritty, becoming reddened or being sensitive to light. In more severe cases, a person may experience blurry vision.
“Depending on the severity of symptoms, there are different things available to tackle dry eyes and provide more comfort. Typically, over-the-counter eye drops will do the trick, though some people might need an ointment prescribed by an optician. In rare cases, surgery may be required if the issue is with the tear duct itself.”
Furthermore, there is also the impact of other, rarer, weather events to consider. While snow hasn’t hit most parts of the UK in great quantity for a while, it remains a possibility.
Shelton has tips on how to manage rain, snow, and ice glare: “During autumn and winter, the sun is very low in the sky at peak times, including when people are driving to work or taking children to and from school. The low sun combined with the excess rain we get in autumn, and then snow and ice in winter, can cause a reflective glare or ‘dazzle’ that can be damaging to the eyes.
“During these times it’s important to take steps to look after the health of the eyes. Sunglasses aren’t just for summer, they’re a necessary accessory in winter too, so always keep a pair handy and consider purchasing a pair with polarised lenses, which reduce the amount of sunlight that enter the eye.
“Glasses wearers should consider adding an anti-reflective coating, or use specialist lenses which are designed to cope with the challenges autumn and winter can present.”
For those hitting the roads, he said: “Driving in low sun can be particularly tricky, but ZEISS DriveSafe lenses offer improved natural vision by reacting to pupils, and the ways in which they change during low light conditions.
“They reduce glare from headlights and brake lights – which we spend more time in during winter because of the bad weather – and incorporate up to 43 per cent more mid-distance vision, making it easier to switch focus between the dashboard and mirrors, and up to 14 per cent more far-distance vision for a wider view of the road.”
As a result, it isn’t just the volley of viral illnesses that one should be aware of this winter, there are others to look out for too.
And making sure your eyes are healthy will make that process just that little bit easier.
Source: Read Full Article