There’s a lot to love about the holidays. Good food, family and friends, and of course, more time to relax. For some, though, the holiday rush can distract from keeping an eye on health.
If your eyes feel dry, irritated, or are causing you pain, it can be difficult to embrace the holiday cheer and have a good time. If you want to enjoy your holidays to the fullest, you’ll need to be a little proactive in taking care of your health!
Keep reading for 6 eye care tips to implement before the holidays this year!
1. Drink more water
Feeling thirsty? This is one of the first signs that you’re dehydrated, and chances are, if you’re dehydrated, your eyes may be dry as well.
One easy way to keep your eyes feeling their best before the busiest time of the year is to drink more water. Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day in the weeks and days leading up to Thanksgiving to start. It can take about thirty days to make something a habit, so don’t get too discouraged if you find this difficult.
Just keep trying. Proper hydration can help alleviate symptoms of dry eye, like irritation and scratchiness. In some cases, dehydration can even cause eye pain.
Drinking more water is a simple way to make sure your eyes are lubricated and help your eyes to produce enough tears.
2. Get enough sleep
Does it ever feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day during the holidays? This time of year, you need to sleep more than ever! The last thing you need is to catch a cold or feel run down.
There’s nothing more miserable than trying to get through a holiday meal with your family and sniffling the whole time. Not only can sleep impact how susceptible you are to colds and illnesses, but it can also impact the health of your eyes!
By not getting enough sleep, your eyes can easily pay the price. They may become bloodshot, irritated, fatigued, or feel harder to shut.
The easiest solution is to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every single night, including on the weekends. This will keep you well-rested and ready for the holiday traditions you love the most!
Your eyes will look bright and beautiful in your holiday photos as well, instead of dull and bloodshot.
3. Don’t forget your sunglasses
Although people think that sunglasses are only for the summer, this is simply not true! In fact, sunglasses are something that you should wear all year long to protect your eyes.
Sunglasses are great for keeping your eyes safe from a variety of things. Sure, the obvious answer is UV rays from the sun, but there are other things as well.
Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from dust, particles in the air, and even painful glare that may get in your eyes while you’re driving. But another reason to remember to pack your sunglasses this holiday season is the snow.
Now, there’s not a lot of snow falling here in Houston, but if you’re traveling for the holidays, there’s a good chance you’re going somewhere that could have snow. What you may not realize is that the sun’s rays can actually reflect off of snow.
If you’re not wearing sunglasses that provide you with protection against UV rays, you could seriously injure your eyes!
4. Schedule an eye exam
Even if you think your eyes are healthy, there’s no way to know for sure until you have an eye exam with your ophthalmologist. You should see your eye doctor every year for a routine eye exam, even if you don’t wear glasses or contacts.
This is the best way to make sure your eyes are healthy, and you don’t have any conditions like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, or cataracts. If you have refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you should see your ophthalmologist for an annual comprehensive eye exam.
This will allow you to have your eyes checked and your prescription for glasses and contacts updated if your eyes have changed. The last thing you want is to walk around with an out of date prescription!
If you’ve seen your eye doctor recently but your vision feels like something isn’t quite right, let them know. Sudden vision changes could be a sign of something serious. The best thing to do is to see your eye doctor and get to the bottom of what’s going on.
5. Look at screens in moderation
Many people take the holidays as an opportunity to take extra time off work. This can often turn into more time spent in front of your television, computers, tablets, or phones while you’re sitting at home.
Though it’s tempting, do your best to only look at screens in moderation during the holiday season. Too much screen time is not good for your eyes.
If your eyes feel strained, fatigued, dry, or are causing you a lot of discomfort, that’s a sign that it’s time for a break. Get up, stretch a little, put down what you’re watching, and go outside.
You don’t have to do anything crazy, but even a leisurely walk around the block with your dog can help. Breathing fresh air and relaxing is good for mind, body, and of course, your tired eyes!
If going outside isn’t an option, even taking a short lap around your house can help. Doing something to get your blood moving is the idea so your eyes get a much-needed break from looking at the same thing.
6. Keep eye drops and artificial tears on hand
Even if you’re practicing good eye care hygiene, during the colder winter months, it’s normal for your eyes to get drier. When this happens, one of the best things you can do is keep eye drops and artificial tears on hand.
This may include keeping them in your purse, in your bedroom, and in your bathroom. Put them in places where they will be easy to get to when you need them.
For the best results, use eye drops and artificial tears before your eyes are dry or causing you any discomfort. Keeping your eyes moisturized and well lubricated will also make you more comfortable, allowing you to enjoy your holiday festivities to the fullest!
Want to start off 2021 with healthy eyes? Schedule an appointment with the experts at Diagnostic Eye Center in Houston, TX today!