You may think that summer is the most dangerous season for your eyes, but you may do more damage to your eyes on a sunny winter day in the snow than on your trip to the beach.
Keep reading to find out what dangers may threaten your eyes’ safety in winter and how to protect your vision during the colder months.
What Damage Can Winter Do To Your Eyes and How Dangerous Is Winter For Your Eyes?
When it comes to the coldest season of the year, there are a few weather conditions that can threaten your vision.
Extreme Cold Can Damage Eyes
Cold winter weather can negatively affect your eye health in several ways.
- Dry Eyes. When temperatures drop during winter time, the moisture in the air also wicks away. The dry air may cause many health problems, including dry eyes. You may experience itchiness and redness around your eyes. Eye drops are commonly used to alleviate these symptoms. If the condition persists or worsens, visit an eye care professional.
- Excessive Tearing. Some people experience excessive tearing, especially if it is windy outside. Dry air that is common during the winter months may also make your eyes lose moisture. To recover, your eyes may quickly flood with tears to rewet. When your eyes are too watery, your vision becomes blurry, which may be a hazard.
- Temporary Blurred Vision. In winter, when the atmosphere is cooler, the dry eyes condition is far more likely to exacerbate. As a result, you may experience excessive tearing. The extra moisture in your eyes can interfere with light refraction and cause temporary blurred vision. Blurred vision is especially dangerous when you’re driving. Elderly people are also at a higher risk of falling due to impaired vision.
Winter Workplace Eye Protection
Extreme temperatures and winter weather conditions cause up to 26% of all eye injuries in the workplace.
Despite OSHA's established standards for workplace eye and face protection, more than 27,000 workdays were lost as a result of workplace eye injuries.
So, how do you protect your eyes while working indoors or outdoors in winter weather conditions? Most of the everyday eye safety guidelines apply in the workplace too:
- Wear sunglasses that block UV rays when working outside or driving.
- Use humidifier to maintain a healthy humidity level indoors.
- Avoid placing a heater directly next to you. It will help your eyes retain more moisture.
- Use eye drops to moisturize dry eyes and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Opt for eyeglasses instead of contact lenses when the air is too dry or late at night when your eyes are more likely to get dry. Eyeglasses can also protect your eyes in windy conditions.
- Take breaks to rest your eyes or do eye exercises if you work on a computer all day.
Winter Sports Eye Safety
Playing sports is associated with injuries, including eye injuries. It is important to remember that, with winter sports, you may need to protect your eyes even more.
Inevitably, most winter athletes must deal with snow. As snow reflects up to 90% of UV light, it adds more strain on your eyes, as well as extra UV exposure. The UV rays may be the most dangerous in wintertime, as your eyes literally can’t escape them from above or below without additional protection.
Wearing sunglasses for snow sports can help you keep your eyes safe from damaging sun radiation. It can also protect your eyes from debris and stray objects. About 600,000 Americans are injured each year as a result of skiing and snowboarding, according to researchers from John Hopkins University. Snowboard and ski goggles can help keep twigs, rocks, and other foreign elements from hitting you in the eye.
Read more about sports eye safety.
Protecting Kids’ Vision in Winter
It is important for children to spend adequate time outdoors, as it boosts their physical and mental acuity. But with being outdoors, there are more things to worry about when it comes to protecting their vision in the winter months.
As cold weather kicks in, you need to remember that it is not time to put away your kid’s sunglasses. Children have more sensitive eyes and require more eye protection than adults. According to the Vision Council, the lens of their young eye cannot effectively filter out damaging UV rays, causing more radiation to reach the retina.
Make sure that your child has a proper UV-protective eyewear for the winter months. Good eyeglasses will also help shield their eyes from the strong winds that can cause excessive tearing and blurred vision.
You can help your child to stay vigilant in wearing sunglasses in winter by following these tips:
- Allow your child to choose the pair of sunglasses that they like.
- Make sure that the new pair fits them snuggly, yet comfortably.
- If your child’s vision requires correction, get sunglasses with their prescription.
- Explain to your child why it is important to wear sunglasses in wintertime.
Why Eyes are Puffy in Winter?
In winter, you are more likely to get puffy eyes from colder temperatures than from seasonal allergies. When you turn up the thermostat, the dry air wicks moisture away, leaving you with irritated, parched eyes. To avoid the puffiness, you can use a humidifier at home or in the office to maintain a healthy level of humidity. Drinking plenty of water will also help you stay well hydrated.
Prevention can be the best protection for your eyes this winter.Shop Sunglasses