New research conducted by Optometry Australia suggests that 85 per cent of Australians experience dry or irritated eyes, with almost 55 per cent saying they only started to experience the issue in 2020.
The 2022 Vision Index Report suggests that most Australians may be squinting, blinking or wiping away tears with cool weather and strong winds drying out eyes, causing discomfort.
Bupa Optical Optometrist Karen Makin said, “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.”
“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," said Ms Makin.
The Vision Index Report indicated some people incorrectly believe that nothing can be done to relieve their symptoms despite the availability of many solutions.
“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," continued Ms Makin.
"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,” she added.