Winter Weather and Your Eyes

Winter Weather and Your Eyes

Winter is coming, and so are the challenges for your eyes. Whether you live in Brier Creek, Wake Forest, Raleigh, or anywhere else in the Triangle, you may have noticed the effects of winter weather on your eyesight. Winter weather can cause dry eyes, light sensitivity, and even sunburn on your eyes. In this blog, we will explain how these problems occur and what you can do to prevent them.

Dry Eyes

One of the most common eye problems in winter is dry eyes. This happens because of the low humidity in the air, both outside and inside. The cold air outside and the heating systems inside can dry out your eyes, making them feel itchy, irritated, and red. Dry eyes can also affect your vision quality and increase your risk of infections.

You must keep your eyes hydrated and lubricated for effective dry eye treatment in Raleigh. Here are some tips to do that:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help your body produce enough tears to moisten your eyes.
  • Take omega-3 supplements or eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and seeds. Omega-3s can improve the quality and quantity of your tears and reduce inflammation in your eyes.
  • Use artificial tears or eye drops to lubricate your eyes. You can buy them over-the-counter at any pharmacy or eye care center. Choose the ones that are preservative-free and suitable for your eye condition.
  • Use a humidifier in your home or office to add moisture to the air. This will prevent your eyes from drying out too much. You can also place a bowl of water near your heater or radiator to increase the humidity.
  • Blink often, especially when using a computer, smartphone, or other digital devices. Blinking helps spread the tears evenly over your eyes and prevents them from evaporating.

Light Sensitivity

Another eye problem that can occur in winter is light sensitivity. When exposed to bright light, your eyes feel uncomfortable or painful. Light sensitivity can cause headaches, eye strain, and blurred vision.

Light sensitivity can worsen in winter because of the snow and ice on the ground. These surfaces reflect the sunlight and create glare, which can be very harsh on your eyes. If you are driving, skiing, or doing any outdoor activity in the snow, you may experience more light sensitivity than usual.

Wear sunglasses that block 100% of the UV rays to protect your eyes from light sensitivity. UV rays harm your eyes and can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. Sunglasses can also reduce glare and make your vision more comfortable.

When choosing sunglasses, look for the ones with a label that says “UV 400” or “100% UV protection”. You can also opt for polarized lenses, which can filter out the horizontal light waves that cause glare. You can find sunglasses in different styles, colors, and shapes at any eye doctor in Raleigh.


The last eye problem that we will discuss is sunburn. Yes, you read that right. Your eyes can get sunburned, just like your skin. This is also known as photokeratitis (snow blindness), where the cornea (the clear front layer of your eye) gets inflamed due to excessive exposure to UV rays. Sunburn can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, pain, tearing, blurred vision, and temporary vision loss.

Sunburn can happen in winter, especially if you are involved in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. The snow and ice can reflect up to 80% of the UV rays, reaching your eyes from different angles. This can increase your exposure to UV rays and damage your eyes.

To prevent sunburn, you need to wear goggles that have UV protection. Goggles can cover your eyes entirely and shield them from the UV rays. They can also protect your eyes from the wind, dust, and debris that can irritate your eyes. You can find goggles in different sizes, shapes, and colors at any eye care center in Raleigh.

As always, if you experience any changes in your vision or are looking for dry eye treatment in Raleigh, call us at 919-282-1100 to schedule an appointment!
Each Kelly Eye Center ophthalmologist in Raleigh is committed to providing personalized eye care to address your specific needs. Please note that the suggestions provided in this blog are for general informational purposes only and may not be suitable for your particular insurance plan and eyecare. It is important to consult a qualified healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment.