Protecting Your Eyes During the Winter

Depending upon where you live, winter weather has already started settling in. Each winter, cold weather presents challenges for even the healthiest eyes. I wanted to share some simple facts about how ocular irritation occurs, even during the winter months and what you can do to protect your eyes and your family's eyes this winter and beyond.

Most people understand the importance of protecting their skin and eyes from the sun's damaging rays during the summer, but too often the risks of the sun's damaging rays on their eyes are overlooked during the winter months. UV light is a known causative agent in the development of skin cancer, cataracts and macular degeneration. During the winter months, the sun's glare on the snow and ice can cause snow blindness, or photo keratitis, without the proper eyewear. Sunglasses can fight the double-dose of UV light your eyes are exposed to by shielding from winter glare and direct UV rays.

Dry eyes are the most common issue experienced during the colder winter months. Indoor heating, along with winter weather conditions, cause the humidity levels to drop. The lack of humidity in the air is what causes dry, itchy and burning eyes. Most of the time, moisturizing drops will relieve dry eye irritation, but your Optometrist can provide over-the-counter moisture drops from mind cases and write a prescription for more severe cases of dry eye.

Winter weather conditions are important to consider when choosing proper eye protection for skiing or participating in other winter sports. Before winter weather is in full force, think about protecting your eyes, especially if you're an outdoor enthusiast and plan to be active this winter. Whether you're spending a lot of time outside or not, sunglasses, protective sport goggles and humidifiers can relieve many of the ocular irritations caused by winter weather before they even begin. Visit your local Visionworks and Visionworks Optometrist for protective eyewear and further information on 'winterizing' your eyes.

Nothing on this web site is intended, nor should it be construed, as professional advice. Those reviewing the information should consult with a qualified professional.