We want to remind our customers about protecting their eyes, since this time of year winter eye safety usually not at the forefront of your mind.

It is normal during the summertime to remember to grab your sunglasses before you hit the beach or the pool. Did you know that it is just as, if not even more important to bring them along during the winter months?

Wear Your Shades

A winter eye safety survey was done by the American Optometric Association noted that 80% of Americans wear sunglasses in the summer, but less than a third wear them in the winter. This is primarily due to the colder temperatures and overcast skies much of the country sees this time of year. We want to remind you, that even when it’s cloudy 80% of the sun’s UV rays are still coming through and have the potential to harm your eyes.

While here in the Lowcountry, we don’t see much snow, many families plan vacations to go skiing, tubing or just enjoy a change of scenery. If you plan to head to a higher elevation, your eyes are not used to the strength of the UV rays the closer you get to the sun. Higher elevation equals higher UV rays and the potential for a disorder called photokeratitis (Snow Blindness). This is basically like a sunburn for your eyes, which sounds awful. Make sure to keep your sunglasses on while exploring!

Lasting effects of UV Rays

One main concern aside from snow blindness is that exposure to too much of the bad UV rays could cause cataracts later in life. The World Health Organization says  20% of cataracts may be the result of overexposure to UV radiation. Furthermore, the effect cataracts has on your long-term eyesight is not good! It can lead to total blindness. While this is a worst-case scenario, it’s still good to keep in mind anytime you are outside.  The UV rays are affecting your eyes so why not protect them??

If you are thinking you need a new pair of sunglasses to sport on your next winter vacation. Or maybe you just want to wear them around town to always keep your eyes protected. Come by our offices to find the right pair for you!

We offer many styles and brands that can be made into prescription if needed! You may even be able to get your sunglasses covered by your insurance provider.

Dry Eye

Another danger to your eyes in the winter time is dry eye. The air in the winter is drier than the other seasons. Plus, the use of heat in your home is also another way we dry out the air around us in the winter months. Both of these combined can cause a higher amount of people to suffer from dry eye during the winter months.

Some recommendations from the AAO to help keep your eyes from drying out are:

  • Protect your eyes in windy areas
  • Avoid cigarette smoke
  • Rest your eyes often and blink
  • Try artificial tears
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
  • Warm compress over your eyes

We also have some great dry eye therapy we offer if your dry eye persists and is causing you a lot of discomfort.

Tricounty Eye Associates wants to make sure you are well prepared for what the winter months can bring. We also want to remind you that we have everything you need to keep your eyes safe!

Call or come by to check out our extensive sunglass collection and ask us about our dry eye therapy!