Our eyes can often be extremely sensitive to our environmental conditions. And certain times of year are more difficult on our eyes than others. For example, the cold, dry winter climate can be very challenging for the eyes and lead to potentially serious vision issues in some cases. This is why the eyecare experts here at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons wanted to take some time to discuss a few of the most common wintertime eye conditions for people to be aware of this holiday season.
Extreme Dryness & Irritation
The most common and notable eye issue associated with the winter is dryness and irritation of the eyes. The combination of cold outdoor air (and winds) and heated indoor air can do a number on our eyes due to their relative lack of moisture compared to other seasonal environments. One thing that may help is making sure to keep yourself hydrated. Using eye drops to keep the eyes moist can also improve this. If you continue to experience severe dry eyes, contact us and see if you are a candidate for punctual tear plugs which can often provide relief for people with severely dry eyes. Additionally, many people benefit from adding a humidifier to their homes, which can also assist in improving the quality of indoor air moisture.
Excessive Moisture & Tearing
While it may seem counterintuitive based on what we just said about dry eyes this time of year, the winter conditions can have the opposite effect for some people and cause watery eyes and excessive tear production. Our eyes can sometimes overproduce tears naturally as a way to compensate and protect themselves from the dryer winter air. However, this can lead to discomfort or difficulty seeing in some cases. While outdoors, wearing sunglasses or other protective eyewear may assist in protecting the eyes. If you experience excessive eye moisture and are tearing up while indoors, this could be the result of a seasonal allergy.
Sensitivity To Light
Despite the characteristically dark and gloomy winter skies, there are times when sensitivity to light can be an issue during the winter months. Especially in cases with snow and ice on the ground, which can be reflective and lead to excessive amounts of light reaching the eyes. This can be an especially difficult time of year for people who experience light sensitivity more generally. The best thing you can do for this is to ensure that you wear UV protective sunglasses during any outdoor activity this winter including while jogging and walking.
The winter can be an incredible time of year, but it’s also a time to be knowledgeable and take a proactive approach to the health and wellness of your eyes. For more information or to book an eye care appointment with Dr. William Segal, Dr. Marc Lay, or any of our other eye care providers, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more patient stories, eye care tips, and much more.