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Does Winter Cause Eye Problems? 

December 1, 2022

Winter is cold, but it’s also dry. And when the air is dry, your eyes can be at risk for irritation and other problems. Read on as an Arvada, CO optometrist talks about the effects of winter on your eyes and a few protective measures you can take. 

The Harmful Effects of Winter on the Eyes

Here are just a few ways your eyes may be affected by the winter season:

Cold Air

Cold air can dry out your eyes and make them hurt, but there are a few things you can do to help prevent this problem. If you’re prone to dry eyes in winter, consider using eye drops that moisturize your eyes. You may also want to consider adding a humidifier to your home or workplace if the air is too dry. 

UV Light

The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation in all seasons, but the intensity of UV light is highest in summer. In winter, UV levels may be lower than they are in summer and don’t last as long—but they still pose a risk to your eyes and skin.

UV light can damage the cornea—the clear part of your eye—causing it to become inflamed and irritated. This can lead to permanent damage such as cataracts or glaucoma (increased pressure within the eye). If you must be outside in these conditions, wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet light (UV) rays emitted by sunlight.

Indoor Allergens

People with allergies may be bothered by more eye irritation in winter due to indoor allergens.

Allergies can cause inflammation, which can lead to eye problems. The increased presence of indoor allergens in winter—such as dust, mold, dander and pet hair—can also increase this risk.

If you have allergies, it’s important to manage them so that you don’t experience any unnecessary discomfort or pain.

Windy Conditions

To protect your eyes from winter conditions, it is important to avoid windy conditions and dry air. Windy conditions can dry out the eyes and cause irritation as well as making it difficult for you to blink. 

Winter may seem like the perfect time for your eyes to relax and refresh, but it’s actually the one time of year when you have to be extra careful. Keep in mind that there are many things you can do to protect your eyes from the cold and harsh elements. Make sure they get enough rest, stay hydrated and eat healthy foods, and wear sunglasses when outdoors.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, don’t hesitate to call us, your local Arvada, CO optometry office anytime!

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