Four Ways Winter Can Affect Your Eyes

November 29, 2018 9:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Love it or hate it, winter is just around the corner. Whether you look forward to hitting the nearest ski slope or snowmobile trail, or prefer staying at home watching your favorite TV show, there’s one thing everyone needs to consider as we enter the winter season: how winter weather affects your eyes.

While most people know to use hats, gloves and ear muffs to protect themselves from winter conditions, many people often forget to care for their eyes in the winter weather. However, there are many ways that winter can affect your eyes:

  • Sunburn: Long periods of light exposure can damage your eyes. If you notice that your eyes are more sensitive to light or experience itchiness and pain, chances are that your eyes are being damaged by the UV rays from the sun. Eyes are most susceptible to sunburn in the winter when you are outdoors for long periods of time at high altitudes—think sledding and skiing. The best thing you can do to protect your eyes is wear sunglasses or other eye gear that provides UV protection.
  • Dryness: Cold winter winds and dry heated indoor air can both dry your eyes out in the winter. Just as you experience dry skin and chapped lips in the winter, you can also experience dry eye. Dry eye often causes irritation and itchiness. To help protect against dry eye, be sure to stay hydrated and use a humidifier in your house. If dry eye continues to be a problem for you, be sure to discuss this with your eye doctor in Chillicothe, OH.
  • Light sensitivity: Headaches and eyestrain are not uncommon in the winter. Snow is highly reflective, which can significantly increase the amount of light entering your eye. Your pupil is designed to expand and contract to control the amount of light that reaches your light-sensitive retina at the back of your eye. In bright conditions created by snow and unfiltered sunlight, your pupil may not be able to properly filter the light. These conditions can cause eyestrain, blinking, squinting, headaches and other symptoms. A simple solution is to wear sunglasses on sunny days, just as you would in the winter.
  • Vision changes: Extremely cold temperatures can actually cause the small blood vessels around the eyes to constrict, causing immediate changes in vision. Under these conditions, you may experience blurriness or double vision. If you are out in the cold and experience these symptoms, move to a warm place as soon as possible. If your normal vision does not return in 30 minutes or less, seek help from your eye doctor in Chillicothe, OH right away.

Protecting your eyes is just as important as protecting your hands and ears in the winter. Staying on top of your eye care can help ensure that your eyes stay healthy. If you do experience problems with your vision this winter, don’t hesitate to contact Price Family Eye Care Professionals LLC, your local family eye doctor in Chillicothe, OH. We look forward to working with you!

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