It’s that time of the year again: when the brisk winter invites us to get cozy, share a warm meal, and cherish valuable time with loved ones. But as holiday festivities kick in, so does the stress of preparing. This strain can affect your eye health in ways you wouldn’t expect.
This year, explore these expert insights into holiday stress and eye health and embrace the season’s healing.
The Link between Stress and Your Eyes
Stress can increase during the Holiday Season and manifest in various physical symptoms, like your eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology affirmed that prolonged stress might lead to various eye health issues. One common complaint associated with stress is dry eyes.
As the name suggests, dry eye syndrome is characterized by eyes that aren’t adequately lubricated, causing discomfort, redness, and sometimes blurred vision. Stress can exacerbate these symptoms. Patients must recognize these signs early and pursue dry eye therapy to treat the problem.
If your eyes feel dry and irritated despite home remedies and over-the-counter treatments, it might be time to consult a dry eye specialist. Remember, your eyes are a precious asset, and taking care of them through dry eye therapy should be a priority, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
Meet Carolina Eyecare’s experienced physicians.
Why Do We Get Stressed During the Holidays?
The American Psychological Association reveals that for nearly 90% of U.S. adults, these are primary stressors:
- Financial worries
- Missing loved ones
- Anticipating family conflicts
Unhealthy Habits and Their Impact on Eyesight
During the holiday season, stress often drives us to adopt unhealthy habits, which might provide temporary relief but can cause long-term damage to our eyesight. Here are some of these habits and their potential impacts:
- Smoking: Smoking exposes your eyes to oxidative stress, which can increase the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Excessive Eating: Overeating, particularly foods high in fats and sugars (Christmas cookies, candy, etc), can lead to conditions like obesity and diabetes. These conditions are closely linked with serious eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.
Proactive Measures to Protect Eye Health and Reduce Stress
- Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: To minimize digital eye strain, the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes of screen time, look away at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Adjust Lighting: Change the environmental lighting to reduce glare on the screen or bright Christmas lights. Also, consider using a matte screen filter.
- Take Frequent Breaks: Take breaks when working for extended periods on digital devices. This can help prevent eye strain.
- Watch Holiday Movies: Watching holiday-themed films can help combat loneliness and stress during the festive period. Not only is it fun, but it also serves a therapeutic purpose.
- Spend Time in Nature: Enjoy the great outdoors. Whether it’s a walk in the park or a snowy hiking trip, spending time in nature can reduce stress and improve mood.
- Prioritize Sleep: Make sure to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can exacerbate feelings of stress and tension. After all, Santa knows when you are sleeping and knows when you are awake!
Ready to say goodbye to dry eyes this holiday season, or just need an annual vision exam? Schedule an appointment now with our advanced eye care center and give your eyes the gift of clear vision. Our physicians will explain dry eye symptoms and treatment and answer any questions you may have.
**The information provided in this blog on holiday stress and eye care is for general informational purposes only. Remember to seek advice from a qualified eye care professional with any questions you may have regarding your specific medical condition or treatment options.