Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Eyes Comfortable and Safe This Winter

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Winter weather is here and for some of us that means more time indoors, cranking up the furnace, and maybe making a fire in the fireplace. For others, it’s the green light to get outside and play. No matter where this weather leads you, we have tips and tricks to keep your eyes safe and just as comfortable as the rest of your body.

If you already battle with dry, itchy eyes, cold weather may be your worst enemy. The air is drier everywhere you go—inside and out—which means your tear film is working overtime to keep your eyes moist. Our LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation system is your secret weapon against dry eye syndrome. We were the first practice in New Jersey and one of the first practices in the country to offer LipiFlow therapy, which includes the LipiView II diagnostic system, including an interferometer which measures the lipid in your tears, and a scanner which determines the structure of your Meibomian glands, the glands which make the all-important oil component of your tear film. Through localized heat and massage of the Meibomian glands, you gain relief…It’s almost like a hot stone message for your eyelids!

In between LipiFlow sessions, you, and everyone else, can benefit from the following tricks to keep dry eyes at bay:

  • Keep as many houseplants as possible and place them in the rooms where you spend the most time; run humidifiers in those rooms, too!
  • Stay a safe distance away from the crackling fire in your fireplace. The further you are from it, the happier your eyes will be.
  • Carry over-the- counter eye drops, but talk to us about prescription drops if you find you’re using them more than twice a day.
  • Practice the 20-20- 20 rule when you’re using a screen: every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water and be sure you’re eating eye-nurturing foods every day, such as beans, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, foods with essential fatty acids like salmon, and sources of vitamin E like wheat germ and sweet potatoes. These all help increase the lipid layer of your eyes.

Two items are critical for protecting your eyes when you’re active: goggles and glasses. Whether you’re out running errands, shoveling snow or skiing down the mountain, your eyes need protection from the sun, wind, and potential falls. Please do not store your sunglasses away until summer—your eyes need protection from those UV rays all year round! If you’re out there on a board or set of skis, invest in a good pair of goggles and wear them! Not only will they protect your eyes from the wind, but they’ll also cut down on glare and, most importantly, block any rocks, sticks or poles from making their way to your eye space. This could mean the difference between seeing those beautiful mountains firsthand for 20 more years or spending 20 more years with only the memories of what they looked like.

Finally, please add an eye exam for the whole family to your list of rituals for welcoming the New Year. It’s a great way to keep track of that yearly appointment, and excellent for not only monitoring your eye health but your overall health too. Come on in, and we’ll celebrate 2018 together!

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