Exploring how seasonal changes impact our eye health
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Exploring how seasonal changes impact our eye health

The clocks have turned back, and winter is officially here—which means the days are shorter, the nights are longer, and temperatures are about to drop deeper. Now, the question is, how do these seasonal shifts impact our eyes? Just as winter weather can take a toll on our bodies and mental state—hello, winter blues and dry skin—changes in temperature and lighting can also aggravate our eyes.

Transition from daylight saving time to standard time

For starters, in the fall, when we transition from daylight saving time to standard time, we gain an hour of sleep. While that might seem like a godsend, it can throw off our sleeping patterns immensely, which, in turn, can impact our eyes. That’s because there’s a direct correlation between the quality of our sleep and the health of our eyes.

Less natural light

Eye strain is generally more common in the winter months, since there is far less natural light. The switch to standard time means we have sparing exposure to sunlight and much more darkness—and, naturally, it’s harder to see in the dark. Unfortunately, it’s already pitch black by the time 5:00 p.m. rolls around, requiring our eyes to work extra hard to complete tasks, even when artificial light is present. In fact, fluorescent lighting has been known to spur eyestrain, and incandescent light can also cause issues.

Plus, as we age, it becomes even more difficult to see during low-light conditions, due to the aging retina and the natural narrowing of the pupils. That’s why it’s especially critical to book a comprehensive eye exam as winter approaches. If your vision is compromised in any way, it’s important to correct it before the days get darker.

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