SIGMT Winter 2024 Fall Issue 3

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88 | SIGNATURE MONTANA As temperatures drop and daylight hours shorten, the onset of winter brings unique challenges for eye health. From subtle vision changes during dark morning drives to the increased risk of infections, understanding and addressing these concerns is crucial for maintaining optimal eye health during the colder months. Driving in the Dark: A Vision Challenge e dark mornings and early evenings of winter can exacerbate subtle vision changes, especially for individuals with small glasses prescriptions, particularly those with astigmatism. Driving at night may lead to glare and halos, but the good news is that these issues can oen be corrected with the proper eyewear. Anti-reflective coatings and contact lenses are simple yet effective solutions for enhancing visibility during nighime driving. Cataracts: Navigating the Glare For some, early cataracts may become more noticeable at night, causing glare and halos. While surgery is a common solution for advanced cases, lens coatings and minor prescription adjustments can provide relief until surgical intervention is necessary. Regular monitoring and proactive management can make a significant difference in mitigating the impact of cataracts on night vision. Dry Eyes: e Screen Time Struggle As screen time increases, especially in today 's digital age, dry eyes become a prevalent concern. Reduced blinking rates while staring at screens can lead to faster tear evaporation and a dry, uncomfortable feeling. Simple strategies like blink exercises, omega-3 supplements, and lubricating tears can offer relief in the early stages of dry eyes. Consulting with an eye care professional for advanced therapies and prescriptions is advised for more severe cases. Infections on the Rise Winter also sees a rise in eye infections, oen viral and linked to respiratory illnesses. While antiviral drops may not be an option, supportive therapies can alleviate symptoms and shorten infection duration. Contact lens wearers should be particularly vigilant, seeking professional help if redness and irritation persist beyond 24 hours. Styes and Eyelid Inflammations: Unveiling the Underlying Causes Eyelid inflammations, such as styes, become more common during this season. Oen stemming from underlying causes like blepharitis, these infections require specific therapies for quick resolution and to prevent scarring. Warm compresses may help relieve pressure and assist in geing the infected gland to drain. A low-concentration Hypochlorous acid spray combined with proper eyelid hygiene can aid in relieving symptoms. Professional intervention, including oral antibiotics or low-level light therapy, may be necessary for more severe cases. Understanding and addressing these seasonal eye concerns can make a significant difference in maintaining good eye health during the winter. Prioritizing regular eye check-ups and adopting proactive measures can ensure clear vision and a comfortable eye experience throughout the colder months. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and prioritize your eye health this season. Dr. Justine Redlin, co-owner of Treasure State Eye Care. Residency-trained in ocular disease management. Specializing in dry eye disease, comprehensive vision care, contact lens fittings and surgery co-management. S MT TO YOUR HEALTH DR. JUSTINE REDLIN Navigating Winter's Challenges for Optimal Vision and Comfort JEEPERS CREEPERS Protect Those PEEPERS

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