Winter is here, and with it comes a variety of festivals and events across the country. You may be spending more time outdoors with family or friends as you brave the weather to celebrate the season. You know it’s truly winter when you step out into the brisk morning air and it’s cold enough to make your eyes water. Some people wonder if watery eye symptoms indicate a problem. In fact, it’s a healthy response to the drop in temperature. Cold air doesn’t hold the same amount of moisture in it as warmer summer air does, and our eyes recognize the difference right away. The tears start flowing to generate lubrication, which helps your eyes function comfortably and efficiently. When tears roll down your cheeks in the chilly air, your body’s response to the cold may seem a tad excessive, but there’s not much to do but dab them away with a tissue. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can use to keep your eyes protected from the cold air when you’re out experiencing winter at events across Canada.
For some people, the tear ducts can’t quite keep up, so the crisp weather can bring on the opposite experience: painful dry eyes. When blinking isn’t able to provide enough lubrication, the eyes can become scratchy and irritated. Some people rub their eyes to coax a little more fluid out of the tear ducts, but that’s not a recommended solution. Over the counter eye drops are the most effective way to help treat dry eyes in winter that are caused by cooler temperatures.
Glasses and sunglasses are an aid against the cold weather, acting as a barrier that provides insulation to your eyes. Winter sunglasses also protect against the bright light reflected off of snow, which can cause eye irritation at this time of year.
If you still suffer from dry eyes upon returning indoors, consider using a humidifier to add extra moisture into the air. Some houses with furnaces have humidifiers built in, but people often find an additional portable humidifier to be beneficial.
If your eyes are sensitive to cold air, we recommend visiting your optometrist who will work with you to find a solution. Signs of the dry eye condition include a stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes, sensitivity to light, eye redness, watery eyes and blurred vision. If you’re looking for the perfect pair of shades to protect your eyes this winter, check out FYidoctors’ selection of sunglasses.
Now that you know how to protect your eyes from cold air, have no fear when you attend winter festivals this season! Here’s a list of some of the show-stopper events across the country you may want to attend:
At the end of the month from January 31st to February 17th Ottawa’s annual Winterlude Festival will kick-off! This festival originally began in 1979 in the spirit of celebrating Canadian northern culture. There will be ice skating, horse races, ice sculptures and tube sliding.
The 17th Annual Ice on Whyte returns this January 23rd to February 2nd in Edmonton. The ice carving competition is a favourite among locals. Teams come from all over the world to try their best sculpting in the chilly but ideal ice carving conditions in Canada’s north.
This February 14th to 23rd experience Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg! This festival has been held annually since 1970, in the French neighbourhood of the city, Saint-Boniface. Visitors attend the festival to enjoy French-Canadian food, heritage and live music. With an emphasis on reconciliation, the event endeavours to appreciate “joie de vivre” from the voyageur era, while also ensuring the many diverse indigenous communities are represented.
This may be the oldest carnival in Canada. The first Rossland Winter Carnival was held in 1898 by a Norwegian miner named Olaus Jeldness! This year from January 23rd to 26th, participate in events like the winter parade, bobsled competition, variety show and snow sculpting.
This skating rink is one of the largest outdoor, artificially-refrigerated ice surfaces in Eastern Canada. Whether it’s a sunny day or a cold one, you can count on this oval being open. With skate rentals and a warming hut, it’s a terrific location for a family fun day in the outdoors.
A relatively new outdoor event, The Toronto Light Festival creates an uplifting environment with the use of lights. Located in the Distillery District, the festival transforms the area into a display of art, creativity and visual delights. The event runs from January 17th to March 1st.
Winter can be an exciting time, whether you decide to attend a festival or simply experience the pleasure of Canada’s great outdoors. Remember to keep our tips in mind to reduce the effects of winter dry eyes. If you even have any questions or concerns about dry eyes don’t hesitate to visit an FYidoctors clinic near you.