Prolonged cold calls for more eye care

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QThat winter has its pleasant side few doubt it. But there are those who suffer – and a lot – when the temperature drops. According to ophthalmologist Leôncio Queiroz Neto, president of the Penido Burnier Institute in Campinas, at the top of the list are those with allergies. That’s because, they end up feeling the cascade effect in the eyes of respiratory diseases such as flu, cold, asthma, rhinitis, among others. The list is extensive, he comments. In addition to putting cardiac patients at greater risk of having a heart attack due to increased vessel contraction, the cold spreads viruses into the air and increases the risk of contracting viral conjunctivitis. Symptoms are redness, feeling of sand in the eyes, viscous discharge, sensitivity to light, tearing and swollen eyelids. The specialist’s recommendation is to make compresses with gauze soaked in cold filtered water to relieve discomfort as soon as you feel something wrong. To eliminate the problem it is best to consult your ophthalmologist. Eye drops should not be used without medical evaluation because it causes side effects and mistreated conjunctivitis can leave sequelae on your vision.

As if that weren’t enough, he points out, the cold also reduces the lubrication of the eyes and makes working at the computer a pain for most people. To give you an idea, a survey carried out by the ophthalmologist in 1.2 medical records shows that 75% feel the biggest perrengue in front of the screens: Dry eye, headache and blurred vision The explanation is simple. Queiroz Neto says that just as our legs and body ache when we go for a long run, we have eye fatigue and generalized body pain when using the computer for more than two hours uninterrupted. That’s because, our eyes work much more in front of screens, the eyeball moves less and we reduced the number of blinks from 20 times/minute to 6 times. Since no one will stop working because of this, the ophthalmologist recommends looking away from the screen to a distant point whenever you remember and blink voluntarily.

For Queiroz Neto, respiratory diseases are the great villain in the cold because they have a lot of repercussions on our disposition. The doctor’s recommendation is to avoid, in the home, curtains, carpets and other materials that can easily accumulate dust. Perfect cleaning, but without using brooms that spread the dust and giving preference to cleaning with damp cloths, also help.

Air conditioning to heat the room or cool it down if the temperature rises suddenly requires frequent maintenance, he points out. He also warns not to forget about car air maintenance.

Another recommendation of the ophthalmologist while the cold persists is to avoid closed and poorly ventilated places or with agglomeration of people. To calibrate immunity, the tip is to maintain a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and foods rich in vitamin C.

Unlike bacterial conjunctivitis, which is more common in summer, Queiroz Neto points out that allergic conjunctivitis, which is not contagious, is more frequent during winter. In general, the causes are similar to those of respiratory diseases, caused by contact with allergens, dust mites and pollution. Treatment is with antiallergic eye drops or corticosteroids in more severe cases. “Corticosteroids cannot be used without medical supervision under any circumstances”, he highlights. This is because if it is interrupted before the time, it causes a rebound effect.

Another common problem in the season is dry eye. “The eyeball needs the constant lubrication of the tear to maintain the transparency of the external lens of the eye, the cornea. The low humidity of the air and the pollution of the big urban centers cause dehydration of the eyes. Sandy feeling in the eyes, burning, sensitivity to light and tearing are some of the symptoms of dry eye. “You can even buy lubricating eye drops, but be careful, prefer formulas without preservatives so as not to irritate your eyes even more”, he says. Another doctor’s warning: Excessive use of artificial tears with a preservative can have a rebound effect and make your eyes even more irritated. Women have 3 times more dry eye and in many cases it is of the evaporative type due to a lack of estrogen that reduces the fatty layer of the tear. In these cases, the most indicated is the application of pulsed light to stimulate the production of this tear layer. With proper care it is possible to make your winter more pleasant.

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