How does cold affect my eyes?

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When the outside temperature drops, the eyes are exposed to various problems. This is because cold weather affects the eyes in many ways. Eye problems can be due to direct exposure to cold, low blood flow, and low water in the eyes.

Why is it important to pay close attention to eye care during the winter?

Extremely low temperatures alter various physiological processes of the eye. Here are some of the reasons why eye problems increase in winter.

  • Loss of water in the eyes. The winter air is dry. It removes moisture from your eyes. The eyes secrete excessive tears to compensate for the dryness. Therefore, some people may shed excessive tears after drying.
  • Sun exposure. People spend most of their time in the sun to get rid of the cold. Excessive sunlight exposure can hurt your eyes not only in the summer but also in the winter season. In addition, when it reflects off the snow, the sunlight becomes stronger, causing enormous damage to the cornea.
  • Direct exposure to heat. Another method people use to get rid of a cold is a heater, either in a car or in a house. Using a heater will further dry the air and make it dry. Pointing the vents directly above your face in the car increases the risk of dry eyes.
  • Increased risk of infection. The risk of viral infection increases in winter. The flu virus also affects the eyes and can cause conjunctivitis.
  • Modified blood supply. People may also have a poor blood supply in their eyes. This is because cold weather can cause blood vessels to constrict, resulting in an inadequate blood supply.

How does the cold affect your eyes?

The cold affects your eyes in many ways. Some of the eye problems you may experience during the winter season are:

  • Dry eye. Due to the cold and low humidity, dry eye may occur. If you are using contact lenses, the condition will be more serious. Dryness can cause redness, itching, and a rough sensation in the eyes.
  • Painful eyes. You may feel pain in your eyes even in the cold. Low temperatures cause problems with opening the eyes completely. When you open your eyes, the freezing of the cornea causes pain. In addition, eyelid cramps and blurred vision may occur.
  • Changes in eyesight. Insufficient blood supply to the eyes can cause diplopia and blurring. Eyesight may change at low temperatures. If your vision changes do not normalize within 30 minutes of coming to a relatively warm place (such as in a house), consult an eye specialist.
  • Heavy and tired eyes. Also, the eyes may be heavy in winter. Since the sun is barely visible, the body produces a substance known as melatonin. This substance makes us sleepier. For this reason, you may feel a heavy sensation in your eyes.
  • swelling. Excessive dryness can also cause eye swelling and irritation. Prolonged drying can cause permanent damage, so it is essential to consult a doctor. People may also have cold-induced corneal edema.
  • Sunburn. Apart from the skin, excessive exposure to sunlight can cause sunburn in the eyes. Sunburn in the eyes can cause itching, pain, and increased sensitivity to light. If left untreated, sunburn in the eyes can cause complications such as macular degeneration and poor vision.
  • Improved light sensitivity. Winter can increase light sensitivity, especially for those with sensitive eyes. Such people may experience frequent blinking and eye discomfort. Even if your eyes are not sensitive, you are at risk of developing “snow blindness” during the winter. Light sensitivity is a common problem for people who are crazy about skiing.
  • Excessive tears. Excessive tears may occur in winter. Increased tear production is an eye compensatory mechanism for managing desiccation.

Tips for eye care in the cold season

As you can see from the above, cold and cold winds can hurt your eyes, so you need to be careful during the winter. Here are some tips that may help you maintain eye health during the winter:

  • Wear sunglasses. During the winter, you should wear sunglasses when you leave the house. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing goggles in the winter to protect your eyes from harmful radiation. It is more important during activities involving snow, such as skiing and other snow-related sports.
  • Moisten your eyes. You need to keep your eyes hydrated during the winter. Use a humidifier in the house. You can also administer artificial tears or eye ointments that provide lubrication. It regulates the temperature inside the house to ensure that it retains moisture in the air.
  • Prevents infection. Do not rub your eyes frequently as the risk of infection increases in winter. It can cause infection. Remove makeup, wash your face before bedtime, and avoid sharing your personal makeup with others.
  • Remove indoor allergens. Get rid of indoor allergens during the winter. Allergens include animal meanders, cockroach droppings, and house dust mites. People are more vulnerable to these allergens due to less ventilation in winter.
  • Avoid warm air. Warm air causes dry eye. You should avoid warm air directly in your eyes. Do not use the hair dryer in a way that blows it into your eyes. Also, keep the car vents away from your face.
  • A healthy diet. The diet also helps prevent eye problems during the winter. Supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids helps moisturize the eyes. Keep hydrating by drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.
  • Flashes frequently. Blinking serves two important purposes. Helps tears spread throughout the eye and helps remove dust and other allergens. Therefore, it is important to blink frequently during the winter to prevent dry eye and allergic reactions.
  • Limit outdoor time. Limit outdoor exposure and go outside only when necessary. People wearing contact lenses need to be more careful when leaving the house.
  • Warm compress. Warm compresses help relieve redness, itchiness and eye discomfort. In a warm compress, soak the cloth in warm water and place it on your eyes for 10 minutes.
  • Please see the eye doctor. Cold weather and cold winds can cause chronic eye problems. If redness, pain, itchiness, or vision problems persist longer than expected, consult an eye specialist. It may be a corneal infection or problem.

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During the winter, people are at risk of dry, painful eyes, swelling, redness, altered vision, increased photosensitivity, and watery eyes.We have to take good care of our eyes and consult Eye expert If the problem persists.

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