Tips from an Optometrist: Winter Eye Care for Contact Lens Wearers

Contact lens wearers who live in parts of the country, such as Indianapolis, with frigid temperatures and dry air in the winter are more susceptible to rapid tear evaporation, which leads to dryness, irritation, and pain. As tears keep the surface of the eye clean and safe from infection, excessively dry eyes put one’s vision and eye health at a greater risk.

While you can’t change the weather, you can reduce and prevent dry eye symptoms while wearing contacts. The following are some tips that an optometrist in Indianapolis typically shares with clients, which you may find quite useful.

Contact Lens
Use Eye Drops

Single-use re-wetting eye drops are a great way to keep your eyes and contact lenses lubricated on dry winter days. If you don’t like to use re-wetting drops, limit your contact lens wear in winter. Decreasing your contact lens wearing time by a few hours per day can make a big difference. Properly cleaning and disinfecting your contacts on a daily basis will also help with the natural process of producing tears.

Wear Sunglasses

On a sunny snowy day, the sun’s rays bounces off of the snow and ice, creating an extremely bright environment that can be harmful to the retinas. Over time, overexposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts, so protect your eyes while they’re still in great shape. Select sunglasses that block up to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Set Up a Humidifier

During the winter months, set up humidifiers at home and/or in your office to replace some of the moisture that gets sucked out of the air during this time of year. The added moisture will keep your eyes moist.

Stay Hydrated

Typically, people worry about dehydration during the sweltering heat of the summer and don’t give it a second thought on a cold winter day. As a result, most people don’t drink as much water during the winter. Continue to drink lots of water during winter to minimize your dry eye symptoms, especially when you’re participating in outdoor winter sports and other strenuous activities (i.e. shoveling the driveway).

Before winter begins, schedule an eye exam at your trusted Indianapolis eye care center. Your optometrist can provide further advice for keeping your eyes safe and comfortable during the chilly winter months.

Sources
Can Contacts Freeze? And Other Winter Eye Care Questions, The Huffington Post, February 2, 2015
Winter Eye Care for Contact Wearers, NewsUSA