4 Reasons Winter is Hard on Your Eyes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for your eyes, the holiday season – and the winter months beyond it – can be a trying and even painful time. Even in relatively warmer climates, you may still experience some discomfort due to the change of temperature and humidity, and if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, those snowy destinations might also have you feeling the pain. The fact of the matter is, whether you know if or not, winter weather can put your eyes and your vision at risk. Here’s why.

The air is drier

The weather outside might not be exactly frightful, but compared with the other seasons of the year, it isn’t exactly delightful either. Your skin and hair might be telling you before your eyes do that it’s dry outside. That’s because as temperatures drop and air becomes colder, it doesn’t hold as much atmospheric water vapor (what we commonly refer to as humidity) as it does when temperatures are balmy. Guess what? The surface of your eyes is actually 99 percent water, so when the air dries out, so do your baby blues (or browns or greens). That’s because the moisture in your eyes actually evaporates, much like it would from your clothing or a hard surface when exposed to dry air. If you’re suffering from dry eyes – even if it’s seasonally affected – come see us today.

The sun is still shining

Many people think that, since we’ve pushed the clocks back, it must also be time to stow those sunglasses away. But sunglass lovers rejoice: you’ve got a whole lot of reasons to don those stylish frames all year long – even during the winter months. That’s because the same UV rays that you notice so strongly during the summer months are still there through the winter – even if the temperature outside makes them less noticeable. These UV rays can put you at greater risk for several conditions, including cataracts and even cancer. And if you happen to be visiting the pretty white snow, be particularly cautious. UV rays can reflect from the snow and actually burn your eyes.

“Bought air” is irritating

When it turns cold outside, chances are, you turn to your radiator. As you make your home nice and cozy, you’re actually inviting the dry air from outside in to your home. That’s because your heating system warms outside air and then disperses it throughout the house. The bottom line: you probably can’t escape all that dry air that’s making your eyes itchy, red and irritated. When you can’t escape the dry air, you can help make your home optimal for your eyes. Use a humidifier to increase the water content of your air, and come talk to us about those dry eyes.

Outdoor activities can be risky

You love a mild winter climate, but you also really love those weekends spent on the mountain or in the woods. If you’re an avid snow skier, snowboarder – or you really know how to manhandle a sled – it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your eyes protected while you’re ruling the white stuff. Those UV rays we talked about earlier aren’t your only risk either. When you catch speed (which you’re bound to when you’re skiing, sledding or snowmobiling), any particles with which you come in contact – even those gentle snowflakes – can irritate or even scratch your eyes. And with nature your pal and your rival, you also run the risk of “bumping” into foliage or branches that could do some serious damage. Be sure you’re wearing eye protection any time you’re practicing those winter sports – you want to make sure you can keep enjoying them for years to come.

Got a winter eye question? We’re here to help. Give us a call today!

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