Winter can take a toll on your eyes, especially if you wear contact lenses. Cold weather outdoors, combined with central heating and increased screen time conspire to dry out the air. This dries out your lenses, resulting in irritation, discomfort and eye strain.
But you don’t have to dread the colder months – dry eyes and headaches from contact lenses are preventable conditions if you follow our experts’ top contact lens tips and tricks to keep your vision in good health this winter.
- Keep Yourself Hydrated
Lack of proper care means that you are more likely to experience dry, irritated eyes from contact lenses during the winter months. So, the first thing bit of advice our contact lens specialists have is to drink plenty of water. Make this your number one priority, as staying hydrated will help to keep your eyes moist in cold, harsh weather conditions.
- Be Aware of Heating
If you’re partial to cranking up the heating, you may experience irritation as your contact lenses dry out in the warm, re-circulated air. Try to avoid sitting directly in front of any hot air currents and away from the fire, to prevent dry eyes and headaches from contact lenses. If the problem persists, consider investing in a humidifier, which acts to increase moisture levels in the air (and your eyes).
- Healthy Diet
Now that vitamin D is scarcer and the weather damper, everyone’s more prone to getting ill. We know it can’t be avoided sometimes but try and boost your immune system to prevent flu and related eye symptoms by eating a colourful diet of vegetables, eggs, lean meats, fish, nuts and plenty of dark, leafy greens.
Pack these into warm soups and hearty stews for tasty, winter meals – great for your overall health and vision to make your contact lens experience as comfortable as possible!
- Limit Screen Time
With Strictly on the telly, work on our laptops and every far-flung relative trying to FaceTime you for Christmas, winter is truly now a season of excess screen-time.
British adults now spend over 9 hours a day preoccupied with digital devices, which affects contact lens wearers more acutely than spectacle or non-spectacle wearers. Staring at a screen for prolonged periods of time reduces your blink rate, resulting in dry, irritated eyes from contact lenses and even causing blurred vision.
Keep your eyes happy this Christmas by taking time out every 20 minutes and look away from your screen at something 20m away, for at least 20 seconds to keep headaches and eyestrain at arm’s length. If digital eye strain is still making your contact lenses uncomfortable to wear, the problem might lie with your current lens material, design or lens solutions.
Simply visit our experienced contact lens practitioners to check your contact lenses and discuss your wearing habits, so they can determine the cause and try to resolve the issue for you.
- Wear Sunglasses
If you’re planning on an escape to the slopes this winter, you’ll need to remember your sun protection. Snow goggles and sunglasses are vital for protecting your vision and contact lenses from damaging UV rays, glare from the snow and any loose bits of debris or snow flying into your eyes.
Overexposure to UV can cause photokeratitis- a painful condition in which the top layers of your cornea are damaged, a bit like having ‘sunburnt’ eyes. Symptoms include discomfort, swelling, light sensitivity, watery eyes and headaches.
Although this usually heals on its own, you should stop wearing contact lenses at the first sign of irritation and consult an optician.
- Eye Drops
Always carry contact lens-friendly eye drops, as recommended by your optician for short term relief from any discomfort. If your soft contact lenses aren’t moist enough, they can become misshapen and sticky, causing pain and irritation due to dryness, so make sure to keep them lubricated.
- Contact Lens Care
It’s always important to have a good, regular contact lens care routine, so ensure you clean and store your lenses properly to avoid infections. Whether you wear daily disposable, two weekly or monthly lenses, throw them away after use – attempting to wear them again the following day will result in further dryness and possible infection. If your lenses cause you any discomfort, remove them immediately.
- Factor in Glasses Days
However much you love wearing your contact lenses, winter can take its toll on your them, so it’s important to give them an occasional rest. One of the best contact lens tips and tricks we can offer is to factor in at least one ‘glasses day’ every week, and stock up on anti-fog wipes to prevent them from steaming up in the wintry weather.
These regular breaks allow your eyes to ‘breathe’ and take in more oxygen, which will make your contact lens wear more comfortable for longer.
- Visit an Optician
If you follow these contact lens tips and tricks, your eyes should remain in good health throughout the winter months, however, if you experience recurring dry eyes and headaches from contact lenses this winter, don’t risk your eyesight – book an appointment online or call us on 0121 643 3848 for advice at The Contact Lens Practice. Our expertise lies in our name!