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Can extreme cold cause eye problems?

Posted January 26, 2024 in Eye Health

As the bitter cold of Alberta sets in, with temperatures plunging to -30°C and beyond, the impact on our bodies goes beyond the chills felt on the skin. The question arises: Can these extreme cold temperatures cause problems for our eyes? In this blog, we address the potential effects of severe cold on eye health. From the stinging sensation of frigid winds to the challenges posed by dry indoor air during winter, understanding these dynamics becomes crucial for safeguarding our vision. 

Can extreme cold cause dry eyes?

Extreme cold temperatures, particularly in windy conditions, can indeed contribute to dry eyes. The frigid air can accelerate the evaporation of tears, leaving the eyes vulnerable to dryness and irritation. The harsh winter winds exacerbate this effect, leading to discomfort, redness, and a gritty feeling in the eyes. To address this, individuals can use lubricating eye drops to replenish moisture and consider wearing protective eyewear, such as wraparound sunglasses, to shield the eyes from direct wind exposure.

Extreme cold

How does cold weather impact eye irritation?

Cold weather, especially in dry climates like Alberta during winter, can lead to eye irritation. The lack of humidity in the air can cause the eyes’ sensitive surface to dry out, resulting in symptoms like itching and redness. It is advisable to use humidifiers indoors to maintain a comfortable level of humidity. Additionally, wearing sunglasses, preferably those with side shields, helps create a barrier against the dry, cold air, reducing the risk of irritation.

Can extreme cold aggravate existing eye conditions?

Extreme cold can worsen symptoms for individuals with pre-existing eye conditions. Conditions like dry eye syndrome or allergies may be intensified in cold weather. Proper management of these conditions becomes crucial, including consistent use of prescribed medications or lubricating eye drops. Regular check-ups with an optometrist are essential to monitor any changes in eye health and adjust treatment plans accordingly.

How do you take care of your eyes in cold weather?

To alleviate eye discomfort in winter, maintaining adequate hydration is vital. Staying well-hydrated helps support the production of tears, preventing excessive dryness. Adjusting indoor humidity levels using humidifiers can also combat the dry atmosphere caused by heating systems. 

Additionally, following a proper eye care routine, including regular cleaning and avoiding excessive rubbing of the eyes, contributes to overall eye health. Scheduling routine eye examinations with professionals at Erin Ridge Vision Care ensures timely detection and management of any emerging issues. Regular eye check-ups are paramount, providing a proactive approach to maintaining optimal eye health during the challenging winter months.

If you experience persistent discomfort or notice changes in your vision during extreme cold, seeking professional guidance is paramount. At Erin Ridge Vision Care, our team is committed to exceptional eye care and is always eager to assist you. Call us at (825) 401-3277 to schedule an eye examination and ensure your eyes stay healthy and resilient against the challenges of winter.