How Can the Winter Affect Our Eyes?

Though we’re sure nothing beats the typical rainy British summertime, winter sure does come close. There is nothing better than snow days. Sitting around in your comfy clothes, tucked up on the sofa wrapped in your favourite blanket, watching lots of random television. Not to mention the pleasures of snow itself, sledging, snowball fights, the list goes on and on. But have you ever considered the effect winter can have on your eyes?

The first and most common cause of Ocular issues that winter causes is Dry Eyes. Due to the sharp contrast in temperature indoors and outdoors, artificial heat plays a large part in this. Due to the nature of artificial heat, the air becomes desaturated with moisture, and this isn’t good. The lack of moisture in the air means that the exposed ocular surface of our eyes comes into contact with thousands of dry particles every second, landing on the eye and absorbing any moisture they can. This can lead to irritation between our eyelids and our actual eyeballs, meaning that redness, tenderness and inflammation become visual factors. Further irritation of the eye can in fact cause temporarily involuntary tics in your eyes. To combat this, ensure that you stay hydrated and increase your intake of omega-3s. In addition, during winter we also spend a lot of time indoors, within our beautifully insulated homes, which can also agitate dry eye conditions too.

The second most common cause of Ocular issues that winter causes are Vision Changes. Whilst the majority of Vision Changes occur with increased light and/or decreased moisture, you can also experience Vision Changes caused by low temperatures. Extremely low temperatures cause blood vessels within our eyes to constrict. It’s this constriction that can cause immediate changes to our vision, like blurriness and double vision for example, though these changes mainly occur due to long times in a below-freezing climate.