As the temperature begins to drop, and we make our way into the winter season, it is important to know how these weather changes can affect our eyes. Cold weather can impact your eye health, so you should take the necessary precautions to protect your eyes as winter approaches.

Here are some ways that cold weather can influence your vision and your eye health, and tips you should keep in mind in order to combat these negative effects:

Dry Eyes

The same way cold weather can cause your skin to stay dry in the winter, it can also dry out your eyes. Whether it comes from the cold air when you are outside or from running your heat when you are inside, this dry air can have an impact on your eyes.

Your eyes use moisture to clean the front of your eyes, helping you to see clearly. When your eyes are dry, not only are you lacking the moisture that helps protect your eyes, but you may experience irritation and itchiness as well. This encourages many people to rub their eyes, increasing their likelihood of spreading germs, dirt, or dust to the eyes.

When the weather starts to get cold outside, you can protect yourself against dry eyes by drinking plenty of water and utilizing over-the-counter eye drops when needed. If you are running your heater to stay warm indoors, make sure you use a humidifier as well so that you can keep moisture in the air.

Sensitivity to Light

While most people know to protect their eyes from the sun during the summer months, many people are unaware that light can cause just as much, if not more, eye damage during the winter. Cold weather can cause some people to experience light sensitivity. Although snow might be pretty to look at, its reflective surface will increase your UV exposure. Looking at this reflected light can cause eye strain or even sunburn of the eyes! (yikes)

When it starts to snow outside, be aware that you have a greater chance of damaging your eyes. If you plan on spending a lot of time outside, wear sunglasses that will protect against UV exposure, and wear ski goggles if you want to go skiing or snowboarding. Make sure to take frequent breaks so that you can give your eyes a chance to rest.

Blurry Vision

If you spend a lot of time outside in cold temperatures, your vision might become compromised. Cold weather can constrict the blood vessels in your eyes, which can cause blurry vision. Protect your vision and your eyes by wearing protective glasses when you are outside in cold weather. Avoid spending a significant amount of time outside if the temperature is below freezing. If you notice any changes to your vision, go indoors immediately. If the issue does not clear up after a little while, consider seeking the guidance of a medical professional.

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