Winter Weather and Your Eyes

While the first day of winter is technically still two weeks away, we have already been experiencing our share of winter weather across the Triangle!  Winter weather can do more than just affect the road conditions around us; it can also affect our eyes!  Your eyes might be one of the last places you think about protecting during the winter months. 

Here are a few ways the winter weather can affect your eyes, and what you can do to protect yourself!

  1. Dry Eyes– During the winter season we experience cold temperatures outside and warm temperatures inside.  These two temperature differences create dryer than normal conditions which can lead to itchiness,dry skin and dry eyes.  To take care of your eyes, increase your water intake, be sure to take omega-3s and try an over-the-counter lubricating eye drop to keep eyes moist and healthy.  Consider having a humidifier handy in case of extreme dryness.
  2.  Light Sensitivity – We are used to light throughout the summer with bright, sunny days, but did you know your light sensitivity can actually increase in the winter?  If there is snow on the ground, you may experience increased light sensitivity as the light bounces off the bright white covering.  If you find yourself blinking excessively or struggling to keep your eyes open, be sure to wear sunglasses while outside to protect your eyes from the bright light.
  3. Sunburn – When we think of sunburn, we typically think of the traditional sunburns we see during the summer.  However, your eyes can be at an increased risk during winter sports for sunburn.  If you enjoy the mountainous winter sports of skiing, snowboarding, and sledding you are at risk of sunburn and snow blindness.  To combat the effects of the winter dryness and light sensitivity while hitting the slopes, be sure to follow the precautions for dry eyes and wear protective UV winter goggles to protect your eyes from the light and extreme temperatures. 

As always, if you experience any changes in your vision or feel you are unable to manage your dry eyes during the winter months, give us a call at 919-282-1100 to schedule an appointment!