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Winter Eye-Related Health Myths Debunked

Anyone who spends any amount of time online will find an abundance of eye-related myths, misconceptions and misinformation. Dr. Sandy T. Feldman offers timely and factual information related to eye health and vision during the winter season ahead.

True or False? Dry eyes can be more troublesome in the winter.

True. Dry winter air and central heating can cause eyes to be more sensitive. An easy way to prevent dryness is by using a humidifier to add moisture to the air of indoor environments.

True or False? You don’t need to wear sunglasses in the winter.

False. Sunshine in the winter months might not seem as bright as it does in the summer, but ultraviolet (UV) light still can affect your eyes—even on cloudy days. Eyelid skin is extremely thin and allowing too much UV light through can cause a number of eye problems, including cataracts and several kinds of cancer. Skiers and snowboarders should also be aware that UV radiation is more intense at high altitudes, and sunshine that’s reflected off snow can cause a sunburn on the surface of the eye.

“We tend to protect ourselves from the sun only during the summer, but it’s something to be cautious of all year long,” Dr. Feldman advises. “Be sure to wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV light whenever you go outside, no matter what the season, and consider mirrored sunglasses or goggles if you plan to be out in the snow.”

True or False? Eyes look older in the winter.

True. Surprisingly enough, studies show that people can look as much as five years older during the winter months. Why? Circles and bags under the eyes appear significantly darker in colder months, most likely due to a lack of sunlight. Also, many of us feel more tired and lethargic in the winter due to lower levels of vitamin D, which is generated by the body only when exposed to sunlight.

Click here to read more tips from Dr. Feldman about how to care for your eyes during the winter season.

Image credit: freeimages

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