In colder climates, safeguarding your eyes from the harsh effects of winter weather is of paramount importance. The cold air, coupled with indoor heating systems, can lead to dryness, irritation, and discomfort, leaving your eyes vulnerable to a range of potential issues. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to frigid winds and intense UV rays reflecting off snow and ice can lead to serious conditions like corneal frostbite and snow blindness. Therefore, wearing appropriate eye protection such as sunglasses that block harmful UV rays and using lubricating drops to maintain adequate moisture levels becomes essential. By taking proactive steps to shield your eyes from these environmental stresses, you not only ensure immediate comfort but also contribute to their long-term health and well-being.
Cold weather can bring about a few potential problems for the eyes:
Yes, you may now be more cautious when driving or when choosing what to wear, but it’s even more important to protect your eyes as well from the potential hazards of winter conditions.
Here are some things you should start being aware of:
You may experience dryness in your eyes due to the low humidity caused by the cold outdoor air.
The strong winds can cause your eyes to lose their natural moisture leaving them feeling sore with potential feelings of pain and discomfort.
Vision changes can also occur. When you are in extremely low temperatures for long periods of time, the blood vessels in and around your eyes restrict and this constriction can cause vision changes such as blurriness and double vision.
If you notice vision changes while out in the cold, move to a warm area as soon as possible to correct your vision.
If your normal vision doesn’t return after a short period of time, you should seek medical attention as your eyes may not be able to correct themselves.
If you are planning on going away, say for example to take part in skiing, you may find that you will need to consider UV protection.
Like summer days, winter days can be so bright that they do start to damage your eye, especially if they are constantly exposed. Snow and ice are reflective, so the sun’s ultraviolet rays can reach your eyes from below as well as above.
Not wearing UV-blocking glasses or eyewear alike can prevent photokeratitis aka sunburn on your eye
To mitigate these issues, it's important to:
If you experience severe or persistent eye issues in cold weather, it's important to seek advice from an eye care professional. They can provide specific recommendations and treatment options based on your individual situation.