Aussie eyes looking uncomfortably dry during the wet season
As Australia settles into a cool, wet winter, research suggests the majority of Australians may be squinting, blinking or wiping away tears with cool weather and strong winds drying out eyes, causing discomfort and as per a study published in Frontiers in Public Health, potentially be linked to depression in severe cases.
The 2022 Vision Index Report conducted by Optometry Australia suggests 85 per cent of Australians experience dry or irritated eyes with almost 55 per cent saying they only started to experience the issue since 2020.
Bupa Optical Optometrist Karen Makin said dry eyes are not something people should feel they need to suffer through to the detriment of their physical comfort or mental health given that eye irritation can potentially limit activities people can participate in and their overall mood.
“While this is a problem many people experience throughout the year, there is no doubt cold temperatures and strong winter breezes can exacerbate the issue by drying out your eyes making work, driving or socialising more unpleasant than normal.
“Additionally, increased time spent indoors with the heating on while looking at blue-light emitting devices such as TVs or smartphones is also linked to the problem,” Karen said.
Additionally, increased time spent indoors with the heating on while looking at blue-light emitting devices such as TVs or smartphones is also linked to the problem.
While the issue is widespread, the Vision Index Report indicated some people incorrectly believe that nothing can be done to relieve their symptoms despite many simple solutions being available.
“It’s important people don’t resign themselves to the discomfort and consult an optometrist to see what options might be available instead. While eye drops are a common solution, a pair of winter sunnies can also be effective.
Many people don’t realise that wearing sunglasses during winter is as important as the summer with low sun and reflections off wet roads causing major glare and exposing eyes to UV rays which can also contribute to dry eyes. That’s why winter can be an important time to get your eyes tested, if you are due, to see if you need a new prescription or just a new look for the season,” Karen said.
Wearing sunglasses during the winter also can help protect people against other common winter elements such as wind and dust which can blow into your eyes.
To view the latest range of sunglasses available at Bupa Optical or to book an eye test visit here.