It’s that time of year again in Indiana when most of us feel like hibernating for a few months. But as relaxing as that sounds, we all know we still have responsibilities and events that we need to attend. But as the trees lose their leaves, we pack up our summer tank tops and shorts and pull out our sweaters and boots. There is one thing that people tend to forget about, Sunglasses! Believe it or not the sun even in winter months has a strong impact on our eyes. Dr. Amy Walden & Associates, Indianapolis Eye Doctors have some tips for keeping your eyes healthy all winter long.
Winter Sun Can Be Harmful
Many people don’t believe this as much since the sun is not shining as often and we don’t have the hot summer sun. However, this is a false belief. You still need to protect your eyes as you would in the hot spring and summer months. Did you know that in the winter months, the sun actually sits lower in the sky? On overcast, gloomy days, the sun is still sending ultraviolet rays to your eyes. Therefore it is extremely important to protect them, just as you would when the weather is sunny out.
Many of us will have to shovel our driveway or engage in exercise outdoors. Whether it is running, skiing or just playing outside with the kids it is important to wear sunglasses. But do you know there is a condition called snow blindness, or photokeratitis? Photokeratitis is a painful eye condition that occurs when your eye is exposed to invisible rays of ultraviolet rays. Although some symptoms may occur as early as one hour, it may take up to 6 to 12 hours to show up after UV exposure. The longer you are exposed to UV rays, the more severe your symptoms tend to be.
Photokeratitis Symptoms May Include
- Tearing of your eyes
- Swollen Eyelids
- Gritty feeling in your eyes
- Foggy Vision
If you have any of these symptoms after a long day in the snow or sun in winter months, you may be able to treat these symptoms at home for relief. They usually go away on their end, but the pain can be unbearable if left untreated. The goal is to make your eyes feel better as soon as possible so you do not have further issues. If you wear contact lenses, remove them and also, get out of the sun as quickly as you can.
Remedies for Photokeratitis From Your Indianapolis Eye Doctors
- Use artificial tears
- Place a cool washcloth or ice pack over your eyes
- Over the counter pain, relievers may help, consult your Indianapolis Eye Doctors
- Eye Drops, that are recommended by your optometrist
Symptoms should lessen within a day or two, but if they persist, please contact us, Dr. Amy Walden & Associates, your local eye doctors for assistance.
How To Protect Your Eyes
Let’s focus on how to protect your eyes next, so you do not have to experience these awful symptoms while you are trying to enjoy yourself in the winter months.
- Purchase sunglasses with UV protection. When looking for sunglasses, choose a pair that blocks out 99 to 100% of UV light. Indianapolis Eye Doctors Dr. Amy Walden & Associates have a variety of sunglasses to choose from if you are having difficulty finding the right pair for you.
- If you take part in winter sports, it may be a good idea to invest in wraparound sunglasses or goggles that have the same UV protection. These are glasses that would be great for skiing, sledding, tubing, ice skating, ice fishing or any other outdoor activity that you are in the sun for long periods.
- Wear hats to block out some of the sun if possible.
- Apply sunscreen that is specifically designed for around the eyes. This is great for warding off the UV glare.
Visit Your Indianapolis Eye Doctors Today For UV Protection For Your Eyes
Don’t let the cold, gloomy days fool you! Your eyes need protection all year round. Whether you are planning a fun winter vacation or staying in Indiana where the snow falls occasionally, remember to protect your eyes! Contact us, Dr. Amy Walden & Associates if you have any questions about winter sun and your eyesight.