Winter season is always a difficult time for healthcare – we often have to brave the elements to go to work or school, be on guard against the flu, try to avoid slipping on snow, battle dry skin and chapped lips, and remember to get our daily dose of sunlight. There are hurdles and obstacles everywhere, make no mistake. With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that we often neglect another valuable bodily organ: our eyes! So, here are 5 IDEAL ways to keep your eyes healthy this winter.

WEAR YOUR SUNGLASSES

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’ve tucked away your sunglasses for sunnier days, it’s time to get them out again. Too much sunlight is a threat to your eyes any time of year, and although you might spend a good portion of winter seeking even a singular ray of sun, over exposure any time of year can be detrimental, especially when snow is involved. Snow can reflect as much as 80% of UV radiation – which is double what you would normally be getting. In contrast, water, grass, and soil reflect no more than 10% and dry beach sand up to 15%. So, even though you might not realise it, your eyes might be in danger of being exposed to too much UV radiation in wintry conditions. 

WEAR YOUR CONTACT LENSES AND MOISTURISE PROPERLY

Dryness is one of your eye’s biggest enemies during the winter season – and remembering to keep your eyes moist is one of the best things you can do to protect your eye health. Moisturising your eyes regularly if you are wearing glasses or taking good care of your contact lenses is key – especially with monthly lenses; it is important to make sure that you take time to properly clean and moisturise them to keep them from drying out.

Should you find that you forgot to stock up on an extra pair, no worries; you don’t necessarily have to go out in the cold to buy new ones. Buying lenses online is easy these days, and on some sites you can even order by 8pm to receive tomorrow, if emergency hits.

AVOID DIRECT HEAT

Properly keeping your eyes moist is just one part of the equation – the other is to avoid too much heat – especially direct heat – coming from heaters or a fire. It might be tempting to cozy up, wrapped in a blanket, near your radiator, but too much heat in the atmosphere can dry your eyes out and cause irritation. So, try to be prudent and layer up instead!

AVOID SCREENS FOR TOO LONG

A favourite winter pastime is staying in and watching movies. Yet staring at a screen for too long is known to harm your eyes and result in poorer vision. So, remember to take breaks every now and then and avoid looking at your PC or TV screen for too long. This is especially important for professionals and students who work long hours on a computer.

EAT GOOD FOOD

Eating healthy is always good advice but did you know that there are foods that can work wonders for your eyesight? Dark green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain antioxidants like lutein, which protect your retinas from damage. Orange veggies and fruit that contain beta-carotene, like carrots, squash and pumpkin, give you a vitamin A that boosts and nourishes your eyesight.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.