The holiday season is a special time of the year to spend with family and friends, but it can bring a change of routine that may place your eye health at risk.
At Lens.com, we want to make sure you enjoy the season’s festivities without any eye injuries or visual discomfort, so we rounded up our top eye care tips this holiday season.
1. Drink plenty of water
Our eyes rely on water to stay moist. Without adequate hydration, our eyes can feel dry and appear dark, sunken, or hollow.
Make sure you drink plenty of water, especially after drinking dehydrating beverages like coffee and soda.
2. Wear sunglasses
During winter, the sun sits lower in the sky and can shine directly into your eyes when you’re driving. That glare of light can temporarily blind you, potentially increasing your risk of getting into an accident.
Whether you’re driving across the city, state, or country, wear a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from winter glare and reduce your risk of accidents on the road.
3. Take care when putting up decorations
The holiday season brings no shortage of eye hazards, from decorating Christmas trees to lighting festive candles.
To prevent eye injuries:
- Be alert around Christmas tree branches and pine needles
- Be careful around pointed ornaments
- Keep glass and pointed ornaments out of reach of children
- Consider using flameless or battery-powered festive candles
- Wear safety goggles or glasses when decorating
4. Manage your screen time
The holidays may finally give you time to sit back and watch movies, browse online for after-Christmas sales, and catch up with family and friends on social media. But extended screen time can cut your blinking rate by half, causing dry eyes.
To avoid eye dryness when using digital devices, follow the 20-20-20 rule. This rule says that after 20 minutes staring at a screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at an object that’s 20 feet away.
Another great way to prevent digital eyestrain is wearing blue light-blocking glasses or contact lenses.
5. Drink alcohol only in moderation
People are more likely to drink alcoholic beverages beyond their limits during the holidays.
Unfortunately, studies suggest that excessive alcohol intake is a significant risk factor for dry eye syndrome, mainly because alcohol is a dehydrating beverage.
To prevent dry eye symptoms, it is recommended to limit or avoid alcohol consumption.
6. Practice good makeup hygiene
If you’re dressing up for holiday parties and going for a festive makeup look, do not share your eye makeup with others. Doing so can lead to cross-contamination, spreading bacteria that may cause an eye infection.
If you’re a lens wearer, insert your contact lenses before applying any eye makeup. Ensure your hands are clean before touching your eyes or contact lenses to avoid contamination.
7. Get enough sleep
While staying up late during the holidays may be tempting, studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick. Lack of sleep also affects how fast you recover if you get sick.
The last thing you want is to catch a cold when you should be spending time with your family and friends, so make sure you get seven or more hours of sleep per night.
8. Eat eye-friendly foods
Most people don’t really take their diet into consideration during the holidays. It’s the one time of the year when they can happily indulge in delicious, hearty foods without feeling guilty about it.
But some foods are better for our eyes than others. For instance, foods like turkey, salmon, and Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients that help maintain eye function, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
For happy, healthy eyes, include eye-friendly foods in your meals.
9. Use eye drops
There’s already a lack of moisture in the air during winter, and indoor heating only worsens that, causing your eyes to feel dry.
If you struggle with eye dryness during the winter months, consider using eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated and alleviate any discomfort. Don’t let dry eyes ruin the festivities!
If you wear contact lenses, make sure you consult your eye care professional to determine which eye drops are right for you.
10. Avoid smoking
Smoking, even for a short while, can dry out your eyes. In the long run, smoking can also increase your risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma, among other eye problems and diseases.
If someone offers you a smoke, politely decline.
Eye care never takes a holiday, so make sure to follow these tips to keep your eyes healthy throughout the festive season.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. Consult your eye doctor or other qualified eye care professional for any questions you may have regarding your vision health.