Specsavers shares top tips to look after your eyes during tiring festive season

Specsavers has offered some top tips on how best to look after your eyes during the festive season – as tiredness at this time of year leads to increased headaches (30%), and sore or itchy eyes (21%), according to busy Brits.

Four in 10 feel they have barely any time to themselves during the run-up to the big day – amid Christmas shopping (42%), travelling to visit family (23%), and attending work Christmas parties (13%).

Other exhausting obligations over the Christmas period include preparing Christmas dinner (29%), tidying the house in readiness to welcome guests (36%) – and hosting the in-laws (11%).

And the survey, of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas, found that 57% reckon others can tell when they are feeling tired – because they can see it in their eyes.

In fact, one in 10 glasses-wearers admit they resort to hiding their bleary eyes behind their glasses, as 15% say they have trouble focusing when they are fatigued.

And when it comes to their jobs in the run-up to Christmas, 18% will opt to work from home – with 11% even turning off their camera when on a video call.

As a result, Specsavers, which commissioned the research, has advised trying eye drops to combat red or sore eyes, as well as taking a break from wearing lenses every so often, or changing your lens material.

And the brand's top tip for regular screen users is to follow the 20:20:20 rule – taking a break from your screen every 20 minutes, to look at something 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.

It comes as today (December 19) has been dubbed “Yule Tired Day”, as 52% of those polled, via OnePoll, feel themselves already running out of Christmas cheer.

With less than a week to go until Christmas Day, the average adult has already been to two parties, two lunches, and slogged through four shopping trips. And 21% have watched at least two Nativity plays, while the same number have already welcomed the in-laws around.

It also emerged that, as a result of these social obligations, and long overdue catch-ups taking over, 35% have fallen behind on their Christmas shopping, while 31% are yet to send any Christmas cards.

Meanwhile, 40% say they know the festivities have really taken their toll, when they take their foot off the gas at work. And as a result of their busy December calendar, 47% revealed they find it more exhausting than any other month.

More than a quarter (27%) are having to turn down social plans throughout the month, due to how hectic their schedule already is, while the same number will be trying to avoid social gatherings in January, in an effort to recover.

Director of Clinical Services, Giles Edmonds, at Specsavers, said: “December is a busy time of year, with lots of social festivities to cram in – so it’s no wonder that by the middle of the month, people are starting to feel the effects.

“The combination of holiday preparations, year-end work deadlines, and festive gatherings, can take a toll on energy levels. For many, the eyes are also the biggest giveaway that they’re not feeling 100%, so people might be trying to hide their tiredness with glasses, if they wear them – or even sunglasses.

“Late-night celebrations, coupled with our use of screens for work or to watch Christmas telly, can contribute to eye fatigue, making it particularly important to look after your eyes during this time.”


Top causes of eye strain over Christmas:

  • Driving for long periods to visit loved ones
  • Increased stress levels and fatigue
  • Straining eyes to watch the TV
  • Exposure to bright festive lights

Top tips to reduce symptoms such as headaches, itchy eyes, increased light sensitivity, and even blurred or double vision:

  • 20:20:20 Rule – A technique recommended for all screen users. Take a small break every 20 minutes to focus your eyes on something 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. This will help your eye muscles relax, and reduce the likelihood of digital eye strain.
  • Contact lenses – To ensure eyes are kept safe and healthy, lens wearers should insert their lenses before putting on make-up, and remember to take them out before removing make-up after a night out. Avoid make-up that includes powdery or metallic eyeshadow, and mascara with fibres, as the particles can get into your lenses, and cause damage to your eye.
  • Dry eyes – Take a break from wearing your lenses, or change to a different lens material. You could also use contact lens‑friendly dry eye drops onto your lenses before you apply them each day, to help relieve symptoms.
  • Red eyes – Whilst red eyes can be alarming, there can be a wide number of causes for this, including simply increased levels of tiredness over the festive period. You can try eye drops for more immediate relief, but if this doesn’t work, or the redness is more severe, you should contact your optician.

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