As temperatures drop, it’s important to protect your eyes

Using caution in the cold

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As the Polar Vortex continues to work its way across the Tri-State doctors remind residents to layer-up when going outside.

VSP Network Eye Doctor Jennifer Tsai is also reminding residents to protect their eyes during the winter weather.

“It’s important to protect your eyes during the polar vortex. Extreme cold weather can cause dry eyes, blurred vision, watery eyes, light sensitivity, burning and tearing. Frost bite can also cause your cornea to freeze, which could result in loss of vision," she said. "Our body has natural protective mechanisms to protect our eyes like tear film and eyelashes, but even these might not be enough for extremely cold conditions. You may want to use eye drops before going outside, and also consider adding a thick eye lubricant like Systane gel on the lids and eyes to add a protective barrier. You can also wear goggles and sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight and wind and limit computer use because it can dry your eyes out even more. Remember to blink often when you are outside to keep your tear film moist, and keep your humidifier on at night by your bed stand.”

There is one layer that UC Health’s Dr. Dustin Calhoun advises against putting on: the beer jacket.

“We do see some hypothermia, unfortunately that happens a lot. The big worry, the biggest cause of that around here anyways tends to be alcohol. So, someone who is under the influence of alcohol and doesn’t have the wits about them to get out of the cold,” he said.

Calhoun tells FOX19 concerns range from frost nip to Hypothermia when temperatures drop down into the single digits.

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