Winter Eye Problems: Tips To Follow During Winter

Your eyes are at equal risk of winter-related illnesses as your other body parts. Read on for tips to prevent winter eye problems.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Nov 27, 2022 23:13 IST
Winter Eye Problems: Tips To Follow During Winter

With the arrival of winter, keeping bodies warm becomes the top priority. The seasonal transition brings with it viral diseases and infections. People take various preventive measures to keep winter illnesses at bay. But often ignore the eye.

It is surprising but your eyes are at equal risk of winter-related illnesses as your other body parts. The winter season can also bring a slew of eye-related issues. The dry and cold breeze can also be harmful to your eyes. Before knowing how to take care of your eyes during winter, it is worth knowing how this season affects your eyes.

Effects of Cold Weather on Eyes

The cold weather affects your eyes in the following ways:

Blurring of Vision

Winter can cause your vision to blur. This happens by corneal freezing. When exposed to extremely low temperatures, the vessels in your eyes constrict, causing temporary blurring of vision.

Tired or Heavy Eyes

During winter, you may also suffer from tired or heavy eyes. As the sun is rarely seen, the body creates a chemical called melatonin. This chemical induces sleep. As a result, you may experience heaviness in your eyes.

Dry Eyes

Dry and cold air can exacerbate dry eye symptoms and can cause an inability to work on the computer, dryness of the eyes, reflex watering, itchiness of the eyes, and tiredness. Due to excessive dryness, your eyes may also suffer from swelling.

Excess Tearing

Your eyes may also suffer excessive tearing during the cold weather. This happens to compensate for the excessive dryness in your eyes induced by the winter.

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Sunburn

This is most common where the sun's reflection is high, and common at the beaches and in snowy areas. In the winters, people prefer to spend time outside in the sun. Due to the reflection of the sun rays, sunburn and retinal damage can occur. This is known as Solar retinopathy. 

When your eyes suffer from sunburn, you may experience itchiness, pain, and increased light sensitivity. In extreme cases, sunburn can also lead to macular degeneration, cataracts, and even loss of vision.

Winter Allergies

It can cause swelling of the eyelids, flakiness of the eyelashes, inflammation of the eyes, itching, burning sensation, pain in the eyes, and increased dryness of the eye.

How to Prevent Winter Eye Problems?

Wear Sunglasses

During the winter, use sunglasses when leaving your house. To protect the eyes from the damaging radiations of the sun, the American Academy of Ophthalmologists recommends wearing goggles in the winter. It is especially important during snow-related activities such as skiing or other snow-related sports.

Prevent Infection Risk

The risk of infection is increased in winter. So, do not make the mistake of rubbing your eyes, as it can lead to damage and infection.

Avoid Warm Air

Warm air can lead to dryness of the eyes. Avoid warm air to fall directly on your eyes. Reduce the use of equipments such as hair dryers; directing warm air on your eyes may cause your eyes to dry, leading to irritation and itchiness.

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Keep Eyes Moist

As mentioned, winter causes dryness in the eyes. So, it becomes important to keep your eyes hydrated. You can use artificial tears and eye lubricants to keep your eyes moist. But make sure to use them only on the doctor’s advice. Regulate good temperature inside your house so that the optimum amount of moisture can remain in the air.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Diet also plays an important role in preventing winter eye problems. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day and maintain proper hydration. Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They help in ocular moisturisation.

Frequent Visit To Doctor

Viral infections are more common in the winter. It has the potential to cause viral conjunctivitis. Staying with eye problems for a long time can lead to irreversible eye damage. Thus, if your winter eye problem goes beyond the preventable level, it is crucial to meet a doctor and seek his expert opinion.

Image Credit: freepik

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