Winter Weather and Your Eyes
When temperatures drop, most people remember a coat to stay warm and gloves to keep their fingers toasty. Maybe even a hat and scarf. But don’t forget about protecting your eyes in harsh winter weather.
Here are three eye conditions people commonly experience (and you might be too) in cold weather conditions and suggestions to help you manage those symptoms:
- Dry Eyes: Cold weather and wind can be drying to the eyes, and in more extreme conditions, your eyes can’t keep up with the amount of tears needed to keep you comfortable. Additionally, being indoors with windows closed and heat on creates an atmosphere of lower humidity, another culprit of dry eyes. People also tend to drink less water in winter months than they do in the warmer months. Thus, adding to the problem.
What to Do: Protect your eyes with glasses or goggles when outside, especially in windy conditions. Buy a humidifier for your home to keep moisture in the air, and stay hydrated!
- Excessive Tearing: On the other end of the spectrum, some people actually tear more in cold weather and wind.
What to Do: As with dry eyes, protect your eyes with glasses or goggles when outside for any length of time. And when wiping away excess tears, use a clean cloth or tissue to reduce the spread of germs that could lead to an infection or cold.
- Burning Eyes: In extremely cold, windy weather, you should never force your eyes open as the cornea can actually “freeze.” This can be exceedingly painful and can result in blurry vision, sensitivity to light and even eyelid spasms.
What to Do: Wear sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from extreme wind which can expose your eyes to even colder temperatures (wind chill factor). Contact your eye doctor immediately if you are experiencing eye pain or a strong burning sensation.
One common theme with each condition is the protection of your eyes with glasses or goggles. While summer might be when you traditionally think of wearing sunglasses, the truth is, it is equally important in winter months, when your eyes need to be protected from the glare and reflection on snow and ice, winter winds and cold temperatures.
If dry eye is a persistent problem and protection of your eyes, home remedies and over-the-counter artificial tears aren’t doing the trick, come see us. The problem might call for a prescribed treatment from Kleiman | Evangelista. Call us today or click here to contact us online!