It’s only autumn, but the temperatures are dropping, and winter will be here before we know it. For many people, wintertime means eye problems and time for an eye exam. This post will cover a few of the top eye concerns we see each winter and what you can do to prevent them.
Dryness is the most common problem we see this time of year. This is because cold outdoor air and heated indoor air have lower humidity levels. You may also notice chapped lips and dry skin in the winter months. Stay hydrated and use eye drops each time you feel your eyes getting irritated to combat dry eyes. You should also invest in a humidifier for your home.
While many of us have dry eyes, some folks have the opposite problem. Instead of feeling dry, they experience excessive tearing throughout the winter. This issue is often caused by cold winds or seasonal allergies. A good pair of sunglasses are your eyes’ best defense against the wind. If you’re still experiencing tearing while indoors, consider taking an allergy medication.
Bitter temperatures often cause redness, tenderness and inflammation in and around the eyes. Your eyelids may swell up, or you may notice discoloration in the eye itself. Eyes that become particularly irritated may even experience involuntary spasms. This issue is often caused by seasonal allergies, snow blindness or dry eye. Taking your allergy medication and using eyedrops should help, but schedule an eye exam if it doesn’t.
Sunburns don’t just happen in the summertime, and they don’t just affect our skin. The sun’s UV rays also damage our eyes. If you notice an increase in light sensitivity, itchiness or eye pain, your eyes may have sustained UV damage. Sunglasses or eye goggles are your best defense, especially when you’re skiing or snowboarding at high elevations. See an optometrist right away if the problem persists to reduce the chance of long-term complications.
Frigid temperatures cause the blood vessels in our eyes to restrict. When this occurs, you may experience double vision or blurriness. Try to get inside as soon as possible if you’re experiencing any vision changes—staying outside will only worsen the problem. If your vision doesn’t return to normal within 30 minutes, seek immediate care. An optometrist may be able to use medicated eye drops to help the blood vessels return to normal.
Many of us feel excessively tired during the winter months, when the days are the shortest and the nights are the longest. The lack of sunlight causes our brains to produce sleep-inducing melatonin, making our eyes feel heavy. You can prevent heavy eyes and constantly feeling tired by getting plenty of sleep and taking vitamin A and D supplements.
Visit Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe today
If you’ve noticed any of these vision issues, come see our team at Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe for an eye exam. A quick checkup will ensure your vision is right where it needs to be.