The holidays are a wonderful time of the year. There are all kinds of opportunities for staying busy: cookie exchanges with friends, holiday programs for the family, volunteer events for charity, progressive dinners in the neighborhood. As much as we may enjoy the hustle and bustle of heading from one place to the next, holiday happenings can be exhausting. It is important to practice self-care during this busy season, especially when it comes to our vision.
Think of the countless changes in temperature and humidity our eyes experience on a given day. From home to the office, post office, shopping mall, grocery store and community center, our eyes have to adapt to many new environments. Outside weather conditions can also take their toll on our vision and cause dry eye. No wonder eyes can be red, irritated and fatigued at the end of the day!
Do not let eye problems limit your holiday social schedule. Here are some easy ways to care for your vision during this festive season:
1. Wear sunglasses. Even though we associate sunglasses with summertime, eye protection is necessary all year long. In fact, you may be even more susceptible to eye
damage during the winter when sunlight reflects off snow and ice. As a general rule, it is a good idea to wear sunglasses when outdoors, even on cloudy days.
2. Control the humidity of your home. Home furnaces and heating systems remove moisture from the air, and this can make your eyes feel scratchy and irritated. Use a
humidifier during colder months to keep your eyes moist and hydrated.
3. Turn off digital screens two hours before bedtime. Blue light from smart phones, computers, tablets and televisions disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythm by suppressing the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. Turn off devices two hours before you go to bed and charge them in a room other than your bedroom.
4. Get proper sleep. Getting enough rest at night will keep your eyes refreshed and rested.
5. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Yearly eye exams are the best way to make sure that your vision is healthy and your eyesight is clear. Your doctor will screen for refractive errors, focusing problems and eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.