Holiday season is in full swing! And while most people are focused on shopping for gifts and other holiday prep, it's important to remember a few tips for keeping your eyes healthy through all of the holiday hustle and bustle.
At Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines, our priority is to help you keep your eyes safe all year round. Below you'll find our top 7 eye care tips this holiday season.
Holiday Eye Care Tips
1. Be Wary of Excessive Screen Time
Whether you're using your phone for online gift shopping, watching a classic holiday movie or connecting with family and friends, the holiday season often means excessive screen time.
To protect your eyes from digital eye strain, make sure to give your eyes a rest every 20 minutes or so, and to shift your focus to an object that's about 20 feet away.
2. Protect Your Eyes From Hazards
From decorating trees to lighting festive candles, the holiday season brings no shortage of eye hazards.
Protect your eyes by wearing protective eyewear, such as glasses or sunglasses, especially near pine needles and branches. Pointed ornaments should be placed above children's eye level to prevent painful eye accidents.
3. Eat and Drink Cautiously
What you eat and drink is important to maintaining excellent eye health. So why not incorporate eye-healthy foods in your holiday menu? Including foods like salmon, sunflower seeds, meat and poultry, sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots in your festive feast can boost your eye health and overall wellbeing.
And when it comes to consuming alcohol, moderation is key. Excessive alcohol intake has been linked to dry eyes, distorted vision and headaches.
4. Consider Using Eye Drops
If the holiday season is cold where you live, chances are you'll be using indoor heating.
However, heating systems can cause your eyes to feel dry. If that's your case, consider getting lubricating eye drops to help restore lost moisture and enhance your eye comfort. Make sure to consult your optometrist to determine which eye drops are right for your eyes.
5. Purchase Eye-Safe Gifts
If you're planning on buying gifts for any children in your life, make sure to avoid purchasing games and toys that could be hazardous to their eyes. Follow the age recommendation listed on the toy package and provide proper eye protection along with gifts that include flying projectiles (bb guns, paintball guns, and guns that fire soft foam dart bullets). Always make sure children are supervised while playing with these toys.
6. Practice Good Makeup Hygiene
'Tis the season for smokey eyes and glitter eyeshadow. Just be sure to thoroughly remove all face and eye makeup before you go to bed.
Sleeping in eye makeup can cause eye irritation, inflammation and infection. Makeup residue can also clog the tiny glands that line your eyelids and lead to symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
7. Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses are essential all year round, rain or shine. But if it snows during the holiday season in your location, sunglasses can be extra important. Wearing a high-quality pair of UV-blocking sunglasses can prevent a painful condition called “snow blindness,” or photokeratitis.
Quality Eye Care in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines
No matter how you're celebrating this holiday season, your local optometric team at Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry wishes you a happy, healthy and safe holiday.
For all of your eye care needs, you can rely on Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines. Call us today to schedule your appointment.
How else can you take care of your eyes in the winter?
Winter weather can cause your eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable. To combat these unwanted side effects of chilly weather, try the following tips:
Always wear sunglasses outdoors. They'll protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and shield your tear film from harsh or cool winds.
Sip on hydrating fluids throughout the day to help keep your tear film stable.
Use a cool-mist humidifier in your home or work space to put moisture back into the air.
Always direct space heaters or car heaters away from your eyes. They can cause your tears to evaporate prematurely.
Visit your local optometrist at the first signs of discomfort. We're here to help!
What are examples of holiday gifts for children that are eye-safe?
There are lots of eye-safe games and toys that the kids in your life will love. Some gift ideas include building toys, puzzles, card games, paint sets and easels, coloring books, memory games, word and picture games, paddle ball and sports equipment. Avoid toys with flying parts and rigid or sharp corners, and steer clear of firecrackers!