Common Eye Problems in the Winter

New Era Eyecare
Jan 9 · 3 min read

Winter brings the joy of the holidays along with it, but once that dies down, all we’re left with is cold weather, snow that needs shoveling and worst of all, irritation consuming our bodies. It’s bad enough that freezing temperatures wreak havoc on our skin, sucking out all the moisture and leaving us dehydrated and thirsty for moisture, but our eyes fall victim to the frigid season as well. The problems our eyes face in the cold weather are often overshadowed by icy roads and chapped lips. We want to provide you with solutions to eye health issues you’ll inevitably deal with thanks to bitter, cold winter temperatures.

Dry Eyes

Winter gifts us with cold, moisture lacking conditions, and our eyes can only do so much to keep hydrated and well-lubricated. What’s worse is that to combat the cold temperatures of the outdoors, we use heating systems that pull in air from the outdoors to heat our homes. Our whole world turns into a moisture-deficient environment for months.

To combat the inevitable season-long drying of the eyes, we recommend four steps you can put into action today. Firstly, equip your home with a humidifier. Not only is this beneficial for your dry skin and dried out
sinuses, but it will make a world of difference on your eye health by adding moisture back into your home. Second, make sure you’re keeping hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. This will keep your body functioning optimally to combat dryness caused by external factors. This leads us to our third recommendation: consume more omega-3-rich foods. Some great sources of omega-3’s are salmon, soybeans, walnuts, chai seeds and mackerel. Finally, if you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still unable to get dry eye relief, it’s time to get the good stuff — eye drops! Refresh Moisturizing Relief eye drops are a great, affordable option as they provide soothing, preservative-free and long lasting relief!

Tearing Up

Harsh winds and frosty temperatures can often run your tear production into overdrive in an attempt to keep your eyes moisture-balanced. While this sounds like a good problem, imagine excessive tearing when you’re crossing the street, unable to see a biker quickly approaching in your direction…or worse, a vehicle! This issue is an easy fix however — wear glasses! Throw on some shades or reading glasses to put a protective barrier between windy weather and your eyes.

Sun-Related Problems

We know what you’re thinking — how can the sun cause winter-specific problems for my eyes that don’t exist in the summer? Well, it’s simple. Excessive UV exposure to your eyes can break down your vision over time
by causing macular degeneration. The problem is that we’re only told to worry about UV exposure in the summertime. The reality is UV exposure is a year-long problem and even on cloudy days, 80% of UV rays from the sun reach our person. Because we do not perceive UV exposure as a threat in the winter, we typically don’t feel the need to shield our eyes with UV protecting eyewear…that’s our first mistake.

The second sun-related issue that arises is when sunlight reflects off of snow or ice. Sunlight that reflects off of snow and ice can actually be worse than staring right into the sun itself, something our mothers told us never to do. The other issue is that the snow reflects 90% of the UV radiation that hits it. We know from above that UV damage to our eyes is bad news. Do yourself a favor and keep a pair of polarized UV protecting sunglasses at arms reach every time you go outside.

When you factor in the heavy coats, snow that needs shoveling and the steps we need to take to protect our bodies from the cold, winter can feel like such a drag. The reality is that every season comes with its ups and downs and a new set of methods we need to adopt to take care of our health. We want you to be aware and knowledgeable on how to care for your eyes this winter and every winter that follows!

Are you worried about your eye health? Contact us today to schedule an eye appointment here:

New Era Eyecare

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The Highest Quality of Eye Care. Our optometrists provide comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages. Schedule an appointment at

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