How Does Dry, Cold Weather Affect Our Eyes?

When the weather gets cold, we all remember to put on our scarves, boots and heavy coats. However, you may be forgetting to protect your eyes from the harsh weather as well. The winter season can bring about some uncomfortable and irritating symptoms for your eyes. If you ever feel like your eyes bother you particularly in the cold, winter months, you’re definitely not alone. Lots of people struggle with dry, itchy eyes during the winter.

For more information on eye treatment and LASIK in Orange County, click here.

Dry Eyes

With all the dry wind and cold temperatures, your eyes can quickly become dried out. In extreme conditions your eyes cannot keep up with producing enough tears to keep you comfortable. And if you think escaping the cold weather indoors will help, think again. In most homes, offices and businesses, the humidity levels will be lower because the heat is on and the windows are closed.

To combat your dry eyes, you should try a few things:

  • In windy weather or when exercising outside, protect your eyes with glasses or goggles.
  • Using a humidifier can help keep/add moisture to air and keep your eyes from drying out. As a bonus, using a humidifier when you get a winter cold can also help you feel better.
  • To stimulate tear production, you can take omega-3 supplements.
  • Your doctor can prescribe you eye drops that will lubricate your eyes.
  • Decrease some medications that can reduce your ability to produce tears, like antihistamines, sleeping pills and pain relievers.

Excessive Tearing

Some people notice that their eyes tear up more in the winter time and during a windy day rather than their eyes drying out. This can cause some annoyances, like constantly rubbing or wiping your eyes and your vision becoming blurry.

So, what do you when your eyes won’t stop tearing up? Try this:

  • Where sunglasses or goggles while outside, or at the very least while playing sports outside, like you would with dry eyes.
  • When you wipe your eyes, make sure that the cloth you are using is clean. Otherwise, you may be making the tearing worse by adding dust or dirt particles into the mix. You could also potentially spread germs if the cloth is not clean.

Swollen, Red eyes

Another symptom people may notice during cold, windy weather is their eyes becoming red and swollen. This may happen because the blood vessels in the tissue around the eyes can become constricted. This can also lead to other unpleasant symptoms, like blurry vision, eyelid spasms or excessive tearing.

To help de-puff and bring your eyes back to a normal color, try this:

  • Again, wearing sunglasses or goggles while outdoors can greatly help your eyes return to normal. It’s important that these glasses have UV protection, especially in the winter when UV rays can be reflected from the snow and ice on the ground.
  • Your doctor can prescribe you eye drops that will help your eyes.

Burning Eyes

If the weather is extremely cold, make sure not to force your eyes open as your cornea can actually freeze. This will result in pain, blurry vision, eyelid spasms and sensitivity to light.

To help your eyes, try this:

  • Like before, make sure to wear protective sunglasses or goggles when outdoors in extreme temperatures.
  • If you are experiencing any pain or a strong burning sensation, make sure to contact your doctor immediately.

Eye Treatment and LASIK in Orange County

In all of these types of situations, protecting your eyes is extremely important. Dr. Ghosheh and team at Advanced Eye Medical are here to help protect your eyes as well. We have a state of the art facility in Mission Viejo to help with all of your eye needs, including LASIK in Orange County.