Does winter weather affect the eyes?

Does winter weather affect the eyes?

Fall is fading and winter is quickly approaching. Although it’s said to be the most wonderful time of the year, your eyes might feel like they’ve been left out in the cold. Winter air tends to be dryer than any other seasons, which can cause our eyes to experience itching, irritation, and dryness. 

According to the American Optometry Association, “warm air from vents and homes, cold winds whipping at our faces, and environmental factors can aggravate dry eye.”  Beyond the weather changes, there is several other reasons dry eye symptoms might worsen during winter months. In fact, even taking decongestants, or cold medications, can make dry eye more severe. 

Winter is full traditions and it’s about time we add properly caring for our eyes to the list. 

Here’s simple steps that you can take maintain healthy eyes in the cold, winter months: 

  • Don’t let heated air from vents directly reach your face. 
  • Do your research on the cold, or flu, medications that you pick. Some impact your eyes more than others. 
  • Consider eyewear or glasses when you’re going to be outside for long periods of time.
  • Stay hydrated! Increase your water intake.  
  • Use a humidifier in your home. 

Just like you’d pull on a coat before going outside, make it a habit to proactively care for your eyes this season. 

Think your eyes are feeling the effects of winter? Take our complimentary dry eye quiz to see if your symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe.

Sources:Winter is coming: Help patients combat dry eye. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2020, from