Posted on Dec 27, 2018, 12 a.m.
Winter is a difficult time of year, not only is it hard on the body it is especially hard on skin. Those cold temperatures, chilling winds, and precipitation can take also take a toll on delicate eyes.
For those that prefer to use more natural methods there are a few things that can be done to help give your eyes that extra little protection they may need, and some fixes that may help to ease pain, inflammation, and irritation.
Those that live in or have spent time in areas where the climate experiences winter weather are most likely familiar with weather related winter eye conditions. Cold air from outside mixed with the heated dry air inside can cause dry skin, lips, hair and eyes, to add to this winter winds can dry out everything more so leaving them red, sore, and scratchy.
To help keep the eyes from drying out drink more water than normal and try increasing intake of omega-3s; running a humidifier in the bedroom can increase air quality and moisture level in the home; and it is recommended to protect your eyes using a face mask, scarf, or glasses when you go out into the elements.
Those winter skies may look gloomy but the glare of the sun reflecting off of snow and ice can be irritating to sensitive eyes that can cause snow blindness, these reflections can be strong and can also cause excessive blinking, discomfort, itching and burning. A good pair of sunglasses can help to combat this even if the skies are grey there is still a chance.
Cold temperature, hostile winds, and exposure to precipitation can cause inflammation and redness of the eyes. Prolonged exposure can cause swollen eyelids and in some cases discoloration of the eyes, involuntary eyelid spasms or tics, and puffy dry and red eyes. Keep your eyes protected when out in the elements and apply a cool compress to help reduce pain and inflammation.
While most people experience dry winter eyes some have the opposite problem experiencing excess tearing and runny noses caused by the nippy winds, cold air, and seasonal allergies. To help avoid this always wear sunglass and protect your eyes from the elements when outdoors.
Prolonged exposure to bright light including reflective winter light can damage your eyes and cause sunburn and snow blindness which can occur at the same time, this is most likely to happen during winter sports such as skating, skiing, sledding, running, and boarding or when at higher elevations. It is recommended to protect eyes with goggles when participating in outdoor activities.
To relieve red, sore, itchy, and irritated eyes try to keep the eyes moist, irritation may be eased with a damp washcloth with warm water placed over closed eyes for a minute or two to help relieve tired weather beaten eyes.
A soothing compress steeped in a solution made out of one teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers into one cup of boiled water for 5 minutes, strained, and cooled before applying may help, be sure to wash eyes off after use; this mixture can also be used as a cold compress.
Cucumber slices soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then placed on shut eyes for 10 minutes may help to ease eye irritation and discomfort thanks to their powerful antioxidants and flavonoids.
Witch Hazel has been shown to ease irritation and inflammation when applied topically. To use on inflammed winter eyes, dip clean cotton pads into a small amount of witch hazel and place on closed eyes.
Aloe vera carries a plethora of healing and soothing properties due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. To help soothe sore eyes mix 2 tablespoons of cold water with one teaspoon of aloe vera gel, then soak cotton balls in the mixture, and place on closed eyes for 10 minutes twice daily until symptoms are gone. This can also be used on tired and sore eyes after reading or working on a computer weekly to keep eyes fresh and revived.
Raw apple cider vinegar contains antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation and ease pain while nourishing skin. For sore eyes mix one tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, dip cotton balls into the mixture, then place on closed eye for 10 minutes to help ease pain, and inflammation.
Coconut oil can help to moisturize and feed dry windblown skin and eyes to keep them feeling their best. Protect skin on the face before going out into the elements with coconut oil by smoothing a thin layer around the face making sure to include over and under the eyes.
Materials provided by:
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.