Winter months bring dropping temperatures and thoughts of holiday festivities. However, vision care may not be on the top of the list of concerns during this time. But unfortunately, cold weather can present some issues when it comes to your eyes and vision. Here are some tips to keep your eyes protected against winter dangers.
Sun protection is not just a summer concern! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the sun’s UV rays can’t harm your eyes. In fact, glare from the sun can be particularly harsh in winter, and UV rays reflecting off surfaces including snow, pavement, metal and water can damage your eyes year-round. UV exposure is associated with an increased risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Therefore, it is essential to always wear proper sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
Wear other protective eyewear
Speaking of eye protection, sunglasses are not the only eyewear you might need during winter. Many people like to partake in fun winter sports like skiing or snowmobiling. However, these activities can present risks to your eyes if the proper precautions are not taken. Wearing protective goggles can shield eyes from UV rays and hazardous glare, as well as protect against flying snow and debris.
Keep your Eyes Moisturized
Winter months are notorious for dry indoor air. Prolonged exposure to this lack of humidity can cause your eyes to become irritated, itchy and sore. Additionally, dry air can cause a burning sensation or excessive watering. To combat this, try using a humidifier in your home to add moisture back into the air. Even better, applying artificial tears directly into your eyes can help to lubricate dry eyes and add moisture to the surface of the eye.
Seek Concussion Care Immediately
Unfortunately, winter months come with icy conditions. And that means there is an increased chance of slipping and falling. If you fall and hit your head, you need to take quick action to avoid any lasting effects of a concussion. Concussions can have a significant effect on vision. For example, you might experience blurred or double vision, difficulty focusing, dizziness, headaches, eye pain or light sensitivity. Or you may not even notice any symptoms at all for several days or more.
Even a mild concussion can cause serious vision problems over time, so seek care immediately even if you are not experiencing symptoms right away. We offer specialized care in neuro-optometric vision rehabilitation following a concussion, so contact us for an evaluation as quickly as possible following an injury.
Get a vision exam
Yes, this one can apply at any time of year. But because regular vision exams are so important to maintaining your overall eye health it should be on the list. Winter weather is often dreary, and outside activities can be more limited. So make excellent use of this opportunity to make your appointment for your vision exam! A comprehensive vision exam is often the only way to detect certain vision disorders. And that means you may not realize there is a problem without it. Early detection can mean an earlier opportunity for treatment to begin and a better chance of fully restoring impaired vision. So don’t delay. Make your appointment by calling Family Vision Development Center at 630-862-2020.
Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear. We are dedicated to keeping our patients comfortable and well-informed and we will explain every exam and procedure and answer all of your questions. We accept both scheduled and emergency appointments, and offer convenient financing and insurance options to ensure that high-quality vision care is available and affordable to all of our patients.
Holiday break will soon be here, much to the delight of students everywhere. In all likelihood, their to-do lists for this time probably include gaming, friends, food and more gaming. Without a doubt, kids should relax and have fun during their time off from classes. However, parents do need to understand that setting some limits on how much time is spent gaming can be necessary to protect their kids’ vision. Here is some essential information on the dangers of too much screen time plus important ways to make gaming safer for your kids.
Gaming can lead to Digital Eye Strain
Extended gaming sessions can have consequences when it comes to vision. The main concern often cited by kids who spend a lot of time in front of a screen is digital eye strain. Also referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), digital eye strain is a group of vision-related problems that are caused by prolonged use of electronics such as televisions, computers, tablets, gaming systems, or smartphones.
The longer a person uses these types of devices, the greater effect there seems to be on eye discomfort and vision problems. And while not every person is affected in the same way, most will see one or more of the following symptoms:
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Tired eyes
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
Digital eye strain should not be ignored. In fact, prolonged instances can result in symptoms becoming more severe, and existing eye disorders such as farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia can also worsen.
Ways to Lessen the Impact of Eye Strain while Gaming
Because of the many ways gaming can impact your vision, it is important to take as many precautions as possible to limit those effects. The following actions can help contribute to healthy eyes and vision while playing.
- Don’t sit too close to the screen. The optimal distance should be at least 20 inches away for larger screens and 13 inches away for smaller screens.
- Follow the 20/20/20 rule. According to this rule, players should pause their gaming every 20 minutes and look at something more 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This simple action will help relax your eyes and reduce the strain of continuous play.
- Reduce glare from the screen. There are several ways to help reduce glare while gaming. For one, playing in the dark or in bright sunlight can increase glare from the screen. Therefore, you should play indoors and adjust the light to the proper levels to match the screen brightness. Additionally, you can install a glare-reducing screen or even wear anti-glare glasses while playing.
- Limit play time. This will not be a popular choice by many kids, but it is a very easy way to lessen the effects of a digital screen. The fact is, gaming for hours at a time is just not healthy for their eyes. Keep it to a minimum and also try to stop all digital use at least an hour before going to bed in order to avoid the blue light affecting the ability to fall asleep.
- Get a vision exam. This one may sound very unrelated. However, digital eye strain is often worse in kids with other vision issues, such as farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia. Therefore, treating these other vision conditions can help to alleviate the symptoms associated with gaming and other use of digital devices.
Schedule your Vision Exam at Family Vision Development Center
Our team is here to help ensure that you can enjoy your gaming while also maintaining your eye health! Our comprehensive vision exams will help detect any vision conditions or diseases that need to be treated. And our state-of-the-art vision center offers a variety of frames, lenses and coatings to match your needs and lifestyle. Additionally, if advanced treatment is necessary, our vision therapy programs provide an effective solution for patients of all ages. Contact us at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule your appointment.
Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.