The festive season is a time to celebrate and spend time with your loved ones. Whether you’re running round the shops trying to find the perfect gifts for your family or deciding which butchers to buy your Christmas turkey from this year, many people are beginning to prepare for the festive season now.
However, one thing that many people forget to take care of during the festive season is their eyes. Late nights coupled with popping corks, smokey atmospheres and bright lights can put your eyes at risk. Each year, a large portion of eye injuries occur in and around the home, with many happening over the festive period. Below, we take a look at a few of the hazards that can put your eyes at risk over Christmas, along with tips on caring for your eyes during the festive season.
For many, decorating the Christmas tree is an exciting tradition in the home and brings the whole family together. However, with decorating the Christmas tree comes a number of risks and potential eye injuries. The pine needles and branches of a real Christmas tree can hurt your eyes if you fall or walk into it. When untying a fresh tree and cutting and trimming, make sure you wear eye protection as pieces can easily flick up and cause eye injuries.
When decorating the tree, have someone hold the ladder steady so that you don’t fall over trying to reach the top. Lots of Christmas tree decorations are sharp and breakable which can also put you at risk. If you have children, keep any sharp or breakable decorations away from them and always make sure that you handle fragile decorations with care.
Lots of people love a glass of fizz at Christmas, however, it’s important that safety is always a priority when it comes to popping open a bottle of champagne. Eye injuries involving popped corks can be very dangerous and serious, and can even threaten your vision. A champagne cork is roughly the size of an eye socket and can be very painful if it makes contact with your eye.
When you’re removing the wire wrapped around the cork, make sure you hold the cork down. Always hold the bottle away from yourself and other people and cover the cork with a towel to prevent the champagne from spraying or the cork flying. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle and turn the bottle until you hear the cork gently pop.
For many, welcoming in the New Year with a display of fireworks is a fun tradition. A display of fireworks can be mesmerising to watch and can be particularly exciting for young children. However, it is absolutely essential that fireworks are handled correctly to minimise any risks associated with them.
In severe cases, firework injuries can rupture the eyeball and cause chemical burns, however, the most common cause of injuries is firework dust in the eye. To prevent any eye injuries, wear protective eye wear when handling fireworks or sparklers and supervise children at all times, keeping them a safe distance away from any fireworks.
For people with children, Christmas day involves setting up and playing with their new toys. It’s important that you help your children set up their toys and continue to supervise them while playing to avoid toy related eye injuries, which are far more common over the festive period than you may think. Toys such as slingshots, BB guns and Nerf guns can be particularly hazardous.
Try to avoid buying your children toys that have sharp edges or pieces that can shoot in the eye. Always make sure that you check the packaging of the toy to ensure that the toy you are buying for your child is age appropriate. If necessary, your child should wear eye protection when playing with certain toys, such as BB guns.
At Christmas, many people are gifted devices - from phones to laptops and tablets. Spending too much time looking at these devices and screens can strain your eyes, leading to irritated and dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches - something that can certainly ruin your day! It’s important to limit the time spent using devices, especially for children.
For many people, spending Christmas with all the family is important - but, sometimes, this can involve driving long distances to reach them. Families and friends can be dotted all over the country and it’s not uncommon to travel for the holidays. It’s essential that you are careful when driving in winter; the sun is lower during the colder months, which can cause road glare and make driving and seeing clearly difficult.
Wearing a pair of UVA and UVB protection sunglasses can help with this. Always keep your windscreen clear and clean and never drive when you are very tired. If you’re driving a long distance, make sure you take regular breaks and alternate with another driver if it’s a very long way.
The best way to promote healthy vision is to book an eye test before the holidays begin. An eye test will test your visual acuity, as well as test for refractive errors, eye diseases and focusing problems. If you have noticed any changes in your vision or are experiencing any problems with your eyes, you should book an eye check up as soon as possible.
For many, the festive period is the perfect time to get into the party spirit - and this can mean getting dressed up and going out. If you wear makeup, avoid sharing your products and brushes with others as this can spread germs and bugs that can lead to eye problems.
Over the festive period, lots of things go out of the window - and you may find yourself abandoning your diet to indulge in lots of food and alcohol. While it’s fine to treat yourself, make sure that you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, eat leafy greens and cut down on salty food and alcohol. Keeping your body hydrated and healthy is vital for ocular health.
Late nights, alcohol, partying and smokey atmospheres can place stress on our eyes, making them red, puffy, dull and irritated. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep to give your eyes the rest that they need. It’s also a good idea to place a cold compress - either a slice of cucumber or a wet tea bag - on each eye for 5-10 minutes to soothe and revive your eyes.
At David Paul Opticians, we are passionate about eye care and understand that the festive season can place a lot of stress on our eyes. We provide high-quality eye care in Berkhamsted and across Hertfordshire, as well as eyeglasses, designer frames and contact lenses. Our establishment is equipped with the latest technology, meaning that we can detect and diagnose health conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, vitreous detachment and macular degeneration.
If detected early, these conditions can be treated before they get more severe. Our opticians in Berkhamsted can restore your vision to near perfection, allowing you to live your life as usual while protecting your eyesight and health. Our team of highly-trained opticians have the experience and expertise needed to identify the early warning signs of eye conditions, offer reliable solutions and provide you with professional and personal guidance. If you’re looking for reliable eye care near you, you needn’t look further than us.