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Tips to Limit the Impact of Cold Air on Your Eyes

Posted on February 17th, 2018

You know winter is here when you step out into the brisk morning air and it’s cold enough to make your eyes water. Some people wonder if their eyes tearing up could 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.


Tip 1: Moisturize and Repeat

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 fix dry eyes caused by cooler temperatures.


Tip 2: Sunglasses Without the Beach

Glasses and sunglasses are an aid against the cold weather, acting as a barrier that provides insulation to your eyes. Sunglasses also protect against the bright light reflected off of snow, which can cause eye irritation at this time of year.


Tip 3: Steam it Up

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.


Tip 4: The Pros Know

If your dry eye situation is ongoing, we recommend visiting your optometrist who will work with you to find a solution. If you’re looking for the perfect pair of shades to protect your eyes this winter, check out FYidoctors’ selection of sunglasses.