For those who have never worn contact lenses before and are considering them, it is important to understand that contacts require very special care. While this is true 24/7, contact lenses need special attention given to them during the winter. Otherwise, you may find that you are more likely to experience irritation, dryness and infection. Therefore, before you decide to get contacts, you need to make sure you are up to the task of protecting your contacts as well as your eyes. Here's what you'll need to do:
Tips to Avoid Dry Eyes
- Get a Humidifier – During the winter, you will likely be indoors more often and the heater is bound to be cranked up. Unfortunately, this excessive heat indoors can cause dryness in the air. This then causes the evaporation of tears, which leads to dry eyes and irritation. This can all easily be avoided with a humidifier, which will help maintain a certain level of moisture in the air so that contacts are much more comfortable for wear.
- Blink, and Blink Some More – On average, you will blink roughly 12 times per minute. This is generally more than enough to keep the eyes well lubricated, but it may not be enough during hard, dry conditions of winter weather. Therefore, you should try to blink several more times an hour than normal to help reduce irritation and dryness. This is particularly helpful for those who are in front of a computer screen or television for a lengthy time daily since this can cause numerous eye troubles.
- Wear Sunglasses – Depending on where you live, you may experience significantly cold and dry winds in the winter. If this is common in your area, then it is crucial that you consider wearing sunglasses during the winter. Otherwise, the dry air from the cold wind can severely dry out your lenses. Sunglasses can shield your eyes from the cold air and wind, while also protecting your eyes against the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Tips to Avoid an Eye Infection
- Wash Your Hands Frequently – Since you are more vulnerable to illnesses, such as the common cold and flu, during the winter, it is crucial that you take extra time to wash your hands more frequently. Your hands need to be clean before they ever touch your eyes to avoid transferring germs from your hands to your eyes and causing an unwanted infection.
- Be Diligent in Daily Contact Lense Care – Every day, you should clean, disinfect and store your contact lenses appropriately and safely. During the winter, it is extra important to ensure that you perform these activities with care on a daily basis to keep eyes healthy and comfortable.
- Consider Disposable Lenses – Since disposable contact lenses are only worn less frequently (usually just during the day), you are less likely to have to worry about the build-up of bacteria, proteins and lipids. However, if you do go this route, you must make sure that you dispose of the contacts as instructed to avoid any type of unnecessary eye infection.
Whether you're new to contacts or a seasoned wearer, these tips will help you successfully keep your eyes safe from harm and as healthy as possible during the winter. For additional advice, consult with your optometrist (such as Beyond Vision in Millwoods).