What Frigid Temperatures do to your Eyes?

During the recent frigid weather conditions, we have endured in our region, we have felt the effects on our skin and extremities, but these extremely cold temperatures can cause uncomfortable changes to the eyes as well.

Common eye conditions that can result from cold weather:
• Excessive tearing- Your eyes may be overproducing tears to protect your cornea from the cold air, or to lubricate your eyes in biting wind.
• Constricted blood vessels-Cold temperatures cause the blood vessels in the eyes to constrict, and this can cause your vision to become blurry. In extreme cases, you may even see double.
• Dry Eyes-Wintertime regularly exposes us to low-humidity air outdoors, as well as heated air indoors. Just as dry air can damage your skin, it can remove necessary moisture from your eyes, too.
• Corneal Freeze-comes from spending too long in cold air can actually freeze your cornea, which is naturally cooler than your ambient body temperature. The cornea’s cool, watery surface, combined with direct exposure to the elements, means that it can freeze more quickly than other parts of your body. You may experience blurry vision or even vision loss with a corneal freeze.
• Snow blindness-(photokeratitis) is temporary eye pain and discomfort after exposure to too much ultraviolet (UV) light reflected from the snow. It’s like a sunburn on your eyes.

Cold weather can damage your eyes if you don’t take proper precautions. Ways to protect your eyes in winter:

• Keep them moisturized.
• Wear protective eyewear like glasses, sunglasses, and goggles.
• Wear hoods, scarves, and hats

Not all winter eye issues happen outdoors. Cold weather means turning up the heat, which makes the air dry and can contribute to dry eyes.

• Use a humidifier indoors.
• Use eye drops to moisturize.
• Wear glasses instead of contacts




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