How does the weather affect my eyes?

Thursday, 25 February 2016
How does the weather affect my eyes?

With the winter season in full swing, it's more important than ever to look after your health. Cold, freezing temperatures are more likely to bring about illnesses - such as cold and flu - than the summer months, which means you must wrap up warm to fight the chill.

While you can simply layer up with knitwear, including hats, scarves and gloves, there's another part of your body that is more difficult to protect from the harsh weather conditions - your eyes

Since your eyes are a delicate part of your body, they are highly susceptible to becoming affected by the wintry temperatures. You should, therefore, be aware of the warning signs and ensure you take extra care to look after your eyes this season. Here are a few things to look out for and what you can do if you experience them:

Dry eyes

In cold and extreme weather, the strong winds can cause your eyes to lose their natural moisture and become dry. This will leave them feeling sore and subsequently, lead to feelings of pain and discomfort.

Not just this, but since you are more likely to keep the windows inside your home closed to shut out the cold weather and instead turn your heating on, the increased humidity levels can also cause your eyes to dry out.

In order to combat this, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and soup, buy a humidifier to keep moisture in the air, increase your intake of omega-3 fish oil - which can help stimulate tear production - and use eye drops prescribed by an optician. Some lenses, like the 1 Day Acuvue Moist, have a moisturising effect for your eyes to better your experience.

Burning eyes

In very extreme weather conditions, you will find that it is difficult to fully open your eyes. Attempting to force your eyes open can actually cause the cornea to freeze, which is highly painful and can lead to issues such as light sensitivity, blurry vision and eyelid spasms.

You may think that you only need to wear sunglasses in the summer; but in fact, wearing sunglasses with UV protection in winter can protect your eyes from harsh winds and bright light. If you do experience a burning sensation in your eyes, however, contact your eye doctor immediately.

Excessive tearing

While some people experience dry eyes from strong winds, others suffer from excessive tearing, with their eyes becoming extremely watery in the winter weather.

This can be highly frustrating, especially when the tears cause your vision to become blurry. In order to prevent excessive tearing, wear a pair of sunglasses, and make sure you wipe any tears away with a clean, soft cloth to avoid germs spreading and entering your eyes.

Red swollen eyes

Eyes can become red and swollen in cold weather. This is due to constricted blood vessels in the tissues around the eyes. Sore, swollen eyes can lead to blurry vision, excessive tearing and eyelid spasms.

Make sure you protect your eyes in cold and bright weather by wearing a pair of UV sunglasses.

Don't forget to make regular visits to your opticians for a general check-up on your eye health. If you have any questions, contact our optician today at
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