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Winter can be a magical time for everybody. To make sure it is kept that way, we’ve put together a short guide on the signs to look out for to ensure you keep on top of your eye health during the colder months so that you don’t run into any future problems.

Dry eye

The problem

Winter air is drier than summer air because it’s colder, this means that it can hold less water before it condenses, leaving the air with very little dissolved water. It is difficult to escape this dryness because even inside your home, where the temperature is higher, the relative humidity of the air remains very low. A 2006 study has shown that frequency of dry eye symptoms increases in winter compared to any other season.

Symptoms related to dry eye can include:

  • Dryness or grittiness
  • Sticky eyelids, particularly when you wake up in the morning
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Red, burning eyes
  • Watery eyes can also occur if your body tries to ease discomfort by producing more tears

The solution

Using a humidifier inside your home can help to increase the indoor humidity so the effects of the wintery air are less severe.

Kings Hill Opticians offer expertise to help identify the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms. We take time to identify the problem; whether that be lifestyle related or physiological, to ensure that we can provide the best care for your eyes. Find out more here.

The cold and the wind

The problem

Many people can develop watery eyes during the cold and windy months. This usually involves excess tearing, especially when outdoors.

The solution

Our first step is to check the eyelid punctum, the channels that drain your tears.  If we think that may be blocked, we would refer you to an ophthalmologist for further investigation and to get them unblocked if necessary.  If they’re not blocked, then we would recommend wearing some form of protection over your eyes to provide some alleviation, even if you don’t need prescription lenses.  Non-prescription spectacles that might be suitable are the innovative Copper Mesh spectacle lenses or Maui Jim polarising sun glasses.

Ultra Violet

The problems

Contrary to popular belief, UV is present all year round even in the Winter months.

Snow and ice are reflective, this means that harmful ultra violet radiation can be reflected into your eyes from above as well as below. It is important to take measures to protect your eyes if you are expecting snowfall or holidaying to a snowy destination, such as skiing. Even if you do not feel the immediate effects of UV exposure, the damage that it does is cumulative, which means that you may be more at risk of long-term complications later in your life if you are over-exposed to sunlight.

Conditions such as cataracts are thought to be more likely to occur when contact with sunlight is not moderated.

The solutions

All of our Spectacle lenses from Essilor have UV protection.

If your skiing holiday goes to plan, you’ll have fantastic sunshine bouncing off lots of brilliant white powder.  But even if you stay in Blighty and we don’t see any of the white stuff, it can still sometimes be difficult to avoid looking in the direction of the winter sun, for example while driving; this worsens when roads are icy or wet and the sun is lying low.  Keeping a pair of sunglasses at hand, especially polarizing ones which cut out all harmful UVA and UVB light such as our stunning Maui Jim sunglasses, can go a long way to help reduce the effects of over-exposure.

Get checked over

Your eyes are extremely important – you only get one pair and humans rely heavily on visual cues for communication, navigation and just about anything you can think of. If you have any concerns about your eyes this winter, get them checked over – the sooner any complications are diagnosed, the quicker you can get the right treatment to protect your vision.

As Kings Hill Opticians, we offer up to 50-minute eye tests using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment so we can pick up any complications or changes in your eye health as early as possible to protect and preserve your eye sight.

For a state-of-the-art eye test, call 01732 875544


Kings Hill Opticians provide expert eye tests, eye care, glasses, lenses, spectacles and contact lenses

 for patients in Kent and Sussex,

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Kings Hill Opticians
2 Liberty Square
Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent
ME19 4AU

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Our registered office is at 2 Liberty Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4AU.