Take extra care of eyes in winter

Winter brings along various seasonal problems including dry eyes. People above the age of 50, especially, often complain of parched eyes which become further prone to allergies and injuries. If not taken care of, such an eye condition can interfere with simple daily activities like reading and even land you at an ophthalmologist’s soon.

Dr Sanjay Dhawan, director of ophthalmology department, Fortis Hospital, says the harsh chilly winds in winters easily dry up the naturally occurring tears in eyes. “Our eyes have tear ducts which are constantly producing liquid to lubricate the organ. However, this season – the fluctuation in temperature that occurs when you move indoors and outdoors – can completely evaporate that liquid.”

It is particularly difficult for people with existing eye problems, those who have had eye surgeries, who use contact lenses and computers for hours. Dr Sanjay says, “Contact lenses, especially if not rinsed and washed every day, compound the dryness problem. Same for long duration computer work which reduces the rate of blinking. It is important that you limit computer use and apply eye drops from time to time.”

Alarms bells should start ringing if there is discharge from the eyes and vision blurs. “That’s not normal or ignorable,” says Dr Kinshuk Biswas, Senior Consultant, Ophthalmology, Columbia Asia Hospital. “It could also point towards infection of the eyes resulting from the dry eyes. Germs, pollen and dust stick to the eyes even more if they are dry and such people contract conjunctivitis more commonly.”

Rush to a doctor at once, says Dr Kinshuk. Symptoms which signal Conjunctivitis should not be attempted to be treated with home remedies. Also avoid touching your eyes at such time and preferably wear glasses to prevent more foreign particles from going in. “Drink lots of fluids and stay away from blowers and heaters. These dry out the eyes even more.”

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