When it comes to caring for your patient’s eyes, you may not give winter a second thought. But they don’t need to be lounging at a pool or on the beach to experience damage from the sun’s harsh rays! As an eye care professional, it’s your job to ensure that your patients are caring for their eyes year round.
This winter, make sure your patients are keeping their eyes healthy with these tips.
1. Combat Dry Eye
The biggest challenge many people face in the winter is dry eyes. What’s behind this phenomenon? The heated indoors may feel toasty, but dry air from heaters and heating systems can leave eyes feeling dry and scratchy. Fortunately, the solution is simple: Remind your patients to stock up on eye drops and remember to use them! Keeping the eyes moisturized can also help keep patients from rubbing them, which can exacerbate damage.
2. Sunglasses Are For More Than Summer
Just because the sun isn’t out as much doesn’t mean your patient’s eyes are fully protected from the sun. Damaging UV light can be harmful in winter, just as in summer, especially if there’s snow on the ground. Snow glare, which can occur when snow bounces the sun’s rays back into the eyes, can be as damaging as the hot summer sun. Increased UV exposure in the winter can also contribute to long-term damage of the eyes in the form of macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness in those over 65.
This is why it’s so critical to ensure that your patients are wearing sunglasses year-round, not just in the summer. Helping them to find the right pair for them is critical. Their sunglasses should block UV light, providing protection from the sun. Patients who wear prescription sunglasses may wish to consider lenses made from Trivex material to ensure that their eyes stay safe throughout the winter.
3. Ensure Eye Safety on the snow
If your patients are planning to hit the slopes this winter, they’ll need to do better than simply slapping on a pair of sunnies. Outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, and even winter hikes can all cause damage to eyes if they’re not careful. However, sunglasses may not offer a full range of protection. Consider urging your patients to pick up a pair of UV-blocking goggles for use during winter outdoor activities like these goggles from Julbo which feature Trivex material-based NXT lenses.
Remember - just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean the sun isn’t shining. Eye damage during the winter can be unexpected but just as damaging as in the summer. Keep your patients safe and healthy by teaching them to take good care of their eyes all year.
How do you help your patients protect their eyes in the winter? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments!