While you can simply layer up with knitwear, including hats, scarves and gloves, there's another part of your body that is more difficult to protect from the harsh weather conditions - your eyes.
Since your eyes are a delicate asopart of your body, they are highly susceptible to being affected by the cold air and wintry temperatures. You should, therefore, be aware of the warning signs and ensure you take extra care to look after your eyes this season. Here are a few things to look out for and what you can do if you experience them:
Dry eyes in the winter
In cold and extreme weather, the strong winds can cause your eyes to lose their natural moisture and become dry. This will leave them feeling sore and, subsequently, lead to feelings of pain and discomfort.
Not just this, but since you are more likely to keep the windows inside your home closed to shut out the cold weather, and turn your heating on, the increased humidity levels can also cause dry eyes.
In order to combat this, there a few things you can do. Firstly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and increase your intake of omega-3 fish oil, which can help stimulate tear production. You can also buy a humidifier to keep moisture in the air inside your home.
Lenses such as 1 Day Acuvue Moist have a moisturising effect on your eyes, helping to reduce and minimise the symptoms of dry eyes throughout the day. For increased moisture, consider silicone hydrogel contact lenses such as comfi Pure 1 Day daily disposable lenses, which offer both exceptional clarity and all day hydration.
You can also use hydrating eye drops such as comfi Drops to keep your eye hydrated and to tackle the daily burnout of computer eye strain, which can intensify in the winter months.
Read our full guide on dealing with dry eye or view our list of the best contact lenses for dry eyes.
In very extreme weather conditions, you’ll find that it can be difficult to fully open your eyes. Attempting to force your eyes open can actually cause the cornea to freeze, which is highly painful and can lead to issues such as light sensitivity, blurry vision and eyelid spasms.
You may think that you only need to wear sunglasses in the summer; but in fact, wearing sunglasses with UV protection in winter can protect your eyes from harsh winds and bright light. Reflective rays are a potential issue during the winter due to snow and can contribute to eye health issues such as cataracts and snow blindness.
An eye cold
The cold weather makes us more susceptible to infection due to the lack of vitamin D which helps to boost the immune system. We are more vulnerable to catching the common cold which can then lead to an eye cold. This is a form of viral conjunctivitis and can effect one or both eyes. Don't be surprised if your eyes burn when closed. Cold in eye can also lead to you experiencing itchy eyes and red veins in the eye.
Watery eyes in the cold weather?
While some people experience dry eyes from strong winds and the cold weather, others suffer from excessive tearing, with their eyes becoming extremely watery in the winter weather.
How to stop eyes watering in cold weather
This can be highly frustrating, especially when the tears cause your vision to become blurry. In order to prevent excessive tearing, wear a pair of sunglasses, and make sure you wipe any tears away with a clean, soft cloth to avoid germs spreading and entering your eyes. Eyelid wipes such as Clinitas Soothe Wipes and Systane Lid Wipes will help clear your eyes and can fit conveniently into your bag, purse or pocket.
Why do my eyes feel heavy?
During the winter months when the mornings are darker, it's much harder to wake up and get out of bed. The lack of sunlight causes your brain to produce a hormone called melatonin which can make you sleepy. It's no wonder we feel tired and sluggish during this season and as a result of all this fatigue, we can experience heavy eyes.
Tips against tired eyes
We can prevent our eyes from feeling tired and heavy by following a good eye-care routine and ensuring that we get plenty of sleep. Using eye drops certainly help to refresh tired eyes as does making sure we get enough sunlight, giving our eyes a break from the screen and making sure our bodies are getting enough vitamin A and vitamin D.
Red swollen eyes
Eyes can become red and swollen in cold weather. This is due to constricted blood vessels in the tissues around the eyes. Sore, swollen eyes can lead to blurry vision, excessive tearing and eyelid spasms.
There are also many reasons as to why your eyes could be swollen, including allergies, fluid retention, styes, pink eye (conjunctivitis) and periorbital cellulitis. If you do experience swollen eyes, please make sure you see an eye doctor as there are a variety of eye conditions that could be affecting you.
How to reduce swollen eyes
Make sure you protect your eyes in cold and bright weather by wearing a pair of UV-protected sunglasses. You can also give your eyes a DIY spa-like treatment with the Thera-Pearl Eye Mask. The handy mask can be used either hot or cold, depending on your preference, and will help to relieve tired, irritated and swollen eyes.
Don't forget to make regular visits to your opticians for a general check-up on your eye health.