Winterizing Our Eyes
Feb 02, 2020 08:06PM
By Dr. Angela Gulbranson, Visions Eye Care + Therapy Center
The two biggest vision concerns during the winter are dry eyes and protecting our eyes from the winter sun’s harmful rays. Most people equate summer with cool sunglasses. But did you know that it is extremely important that you protect your eyes from the harsh UV rays from the sun all year round? Up to about 90% of the harmful UV rays are reflected off snow. Therefore, the type of sun protection you wear is important. Not all sunglasses are the same.
Although it might say 100% UV or even come with an expensive price tag, it may not be the best for your visual needs. Prescription sunglasses are available in most frames in a variety of styles---serious, sporty or fun for any sport or lifestyle need. They are also available in non-prescription lenses and can accommodate no-line bifocals as well. While many people suffer with dry eyes year-round, the winter can definitely be worse. Common symptoms of dry eye include dryness, grittiness, soreness, irritation, burning, fluctuating, blurred vision and eye fatigue. These symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as reading, using the computer, wearing contact lenses and being outdoors on windy days.
There are a variety of things you can do to help minimize the symptoms. Typically, the therapies aimed at dry eye symptom relief included using warm compresses, over-the-counter wetting drops and ointments, and prescription drugs. There is a new, non-drug treatment called Lipiflow, which addresses the root cause of dry eye by unblocking the glands that secrete oily lipids and returning the eye back to its normal function. That means - no more dry eye! Here is what some of patients have said after receiving the Lipiflow treatment: “My eyes feel much better and I am using less eye drops since the procedure.” “I had to use drops constantly before the procedure, now I rarely need them.” “My eyes feel much better plus my vision is clearer and more consistent. Before Lipiflow, I had to blink all the time to get my vision clear, now things are clear all the time.” “Eyes feel much better, my vision is better, and my eyes look whiter since having Lipiflow treatment.” “Before Lipiflow, I used eye drops frequently; now since the procedure I haven’t needed to use any eye drops!”
If you are experiencing any of these dry eye symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your eyecare professional. Dr. Angela Gulbranson provides vision care for the entire family and also provides specialized services in the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems that interfere with reading and learning. Dr. Gulbranson is a popular speaker with parents and professional groups and may be reached at 605-274-6717. For more information visit her website: www.sdvisions.com.