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Winter brings many fun activities, but it’s important to make sure you stay safe by following these simple winter eye tips brought to you by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Avoid Dry Eyes

The sun is not winter’s only eye hazard. Its cool winds and drier air can irritate eyes while indoors and outdoors.

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Indoor heat used during winter months tends to rid the air of moisture which can dry out and irritate eyes. Use a humidifier in the bedroom during months with low humidity. This helps moisten dry eyes, especially when exposed to forced air.

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Contact lens wearers should limit their outside exposure and use artificial tears frequently. Soft contact lenses are like sponges and need lots of moisture. If they start to dry out, they can become painful and stick to the eye.

Protect Eyes From Harmful UV

Most people think that it is only necessary to protect the eyes from the sun during the summer. Exposure to UV rays during winter can temporarily harm eyes as well as increase the risk of developing sunlight-related eye disorders, including cataracts.

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Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV light, especially when in the snow. People forget the sun is just as bright when reflected by the snow as it is off the ocean and beach. High quality, UV-blocking sunglasses can prevent and reduce exposure to the wind and cold.

When skiing or snowboarding, wear goggles to protect your eyes. They help protect the skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves. This is especially important since skin on your upper lids is the thinnest and most vulnerable to exposure.

Eye wear with polycarbonate lenses are a must when using snowmobiles, recreational snow vehicles, and even skiing and snowboarding. The goggles will also protect against tree branches and flying ski pole tips.

Applying a good, quality eye cream will also help protect the delicate eye area from the effects of winter.

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Now get on out there and enjoy the winter, because Ground Hog’s Day is next week and who knows, spring might be just around the corner!

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