Cold winter air doesn’t hold much moisture, which can dehydrate your skin and eyes. Your eyes’ surface is made up of 99 percent water and exposure cold, dry air dries up its moisture content. Another thing you should be concerned about this season is ultraviolet radiation. Even when the sun is hiding behind the clouds, it still produces harmful UV rays, increasing your risk of cataracts and sunburn.
Read on to learn more about the risks of winter weather to your eyes and ways to protect them from the elements from a local optometrist.
Common Winter Eye Problems
Dryness – Aside from dry skin and chapped lips, cold winter winds can dry your eyes out. Cold outdoor air and heated indoor air usually contain less moisture.
Redness – Redness, tenderness and inflammation in the eyes are also common during winter. You can either have swollen eyelids or redness on the eyes. These symptoms can also come with spasms if your eyes get irritated.
Excessive Tearing – Some people can experience tearing when the wind blows outdoors. However, if your eyes are tearing excessively indoors, you have seasonal allergies. Consult your eye doctor to determine the cause of your eyes’ wateriness.
Light Sensitivity – Sunlight can reflect on snow or icy surfaces, which can significantly increase the amount of light. Individuals who have light sensitivity tend to blink more and discomfort. It’s also possible for you to develop snow blindness.
Tips to Protect Your Eyes
Use a Humidifier – Maintain healthy moisture levels in the air by using a humidifier. They won’t affect your home’s heating but will provide sufficient moisture in the air to keep your eyes from drying.
Wear Sunglasses – Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses when heading outdoors. If you wear eyeglasses, consider prescription sunglasses or photochromic lenses. You should also wear proper protective eyewear when participating in winter sports.
Maintain a Healthy Diet – Cold water fish are rich in omega-3 based essential fatty acids, which helps in keeping your eyes moisturized. Moreover, you can prevent dry eye in winter by making sure you’re hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
Keep Your Hands Clean – Wash your hands before touching your contact lenses. Keep in mind that rubbing your eyes with your hands can only make your dry eye symptoms worse and even lead to infections.
At Eyes on Norbeck, we’re here to assist with all your eye care needs. We offer computer vision exam, LASIK evaluation, and treatments for different eye conditions. Call us at (301) 238-7199 or complete our contact form to learn more about our services. We cater to patients in Rockville, MD.