Caring for Your Eyes in Colder Weather
The changing seasons bring many people joy. For some, winter is a favorite time of the year with the holidays and all their festivities. Some people, on the other hand, dislike the winters because of the harsh weather conditions.
Winter is the worst time of the year for your eyes. As the weather changes, many people experience cold and flu symptoms that impact the eyes. Furthermore, changes in your eyes occur that are sometimes critical and unbearable for patients. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about caring for your eyes in the winter!
What Eye Conditions Are Common in Winter?
When it comes to the winter weather, you may experience any of the following effects of the cold on your eyes.
1. Dry Eyes
Our eyes have a protective coating made of mucous, water, and fatty oils. Our eyes produce tears that eventually evaporate. This is a natural cycle that keeps the internal workings of your eyes in balance. This balance is disrupted in the winter months when the colder air is dryer than the wind in hot weather. The wind increases evaporation rates, too. As a result, your eyes become dry and irritated.
Other symptoms include itchiness, burning, redness, and stickiness. You can do the following to prevent dry eyes:
- Use humidifiers indoors
- Avoid smoking cigarettes since it can increase dryness
- Increase the use of sunglasses when you head outdoors
- Lessen the time you wear contact lenses
- Purchase over-the-counter artificial tears and use them as directed by your eye doctor once or twice daily
- In case of severe pain and dryness, schedule an appointment with your eye care provider
2. Watery Eyes
When you step outside, the wind can also create the opposite effect on your eyes. When the wind causes the evaporation of your tears, dry eye occurs. On the contrary, the wind can cause your eyes to water when it hits the thin cushion that coats your retina. Irritations of the lacrimal gland, which produces tears, can increase tear production. This causes your eyes to water more frequently than usual. The treatment is similar to that mentioned above for dry eyes.
3. Swollen, Red Eyes
In colder weather, the vessels around the cornea of your eyes constrict, leading to redness and swelling. Sore, swollen, and red eyes can lead to blurred vision, excess tears, and spasms in your eyelids.
There are many reasons for swelling in your eyes, including styes, allergies, fluid retention, and cellulitis. If you have these symptoms, it is best to refer them to your ophthalmologist. The following are the ways to care for your eyes with this condition:
- Wear UV protected sunglasses in winter and summer
- Massage your eyes
- Use an eye mask that can be hot or cold, whichever you prefer
- Rest your eyes
4. Burning Eyes
In extreme harsh winters, you’ll notice that it becomes challenging to open your eyes. If you try to open your eyes forcefully, it can damage your eyes. Exposing your cornea to freezing temperatures can lead to eye spasms. In worst cases, your eyes become itchy and painful, leading to light sensitivity and blurry vision.
5. Tired Eyes
In winters, the mornings are dark, making it hard for you to get out of bed. Less sunlight causes your brain to produce an abundance of melatonin hormone that makes you sleepy and tired. To overcome tired eyes:
- Get enough sleep
- Do a night-time eye routine
- Use eye drops
- Get enough sunlight to ensure your body receives enough vitamin A and D.
Contact Your Local Opthalamologist to Schedule Your Eye Appointment
Is the colder weather starting to irritate your eyes? Contact a trusted Palmdale eye doctor to schedule an appointment.