How to Protect Your Eyes During Winter Weather

The winter season often brings joyful holiday celebrations, big meals, and travel for fun or relaxation. Typically, winter also brings cold weather conditions like freezing temperatures, dry air, snowfall, and shorter, darker days. From dry eyes and allergies to harmful conditions of driving with snow glare or black ice, the winter environment can cause discomfort or even damage to your eye health. Learn how to protect your eyes from winter conditions both indoors and outdoors during cold weather months.

1. Wear Protective Eyewear Outdoors

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Wear protective eyewear like goggles, polarized lenses, or sunglasses to avoid glaring UV exposure or wind blowing into your eyes while enjoying winter activities like snowboarding, skiing, or taking a blustery walk outside.

2. Reduce Snow Glare with Sunglasses

Wear sunglasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection to reduce your exposure to the sun reflections off the snow. Sunglasses not only block UV rays to decrease the glare from the snow, but they can also shield watery eyes from the cold and prevent airborne particles and debris from entering your eyes.

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3. Combat Winter Dry Eye Symptoms

rubbing eyes

Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears. Since winter brings colder temperatures and less moisture in the air, your eyes may lack the ability stay moisturized, leading to improper tear gland function and dry, itchy, or even watery eyes.

  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your space
  • Take frequent screen breaks and blink often to keep the front surface of your eye moist
  • Drink water to stay hydrated and promote tear gland function

Read here to learn more ways to reduce symptoms of dry eye.

4. Consider DriveSafe Lenses
or One-Day Contact Lenses

Nighttime driving can be especially dangerous in the winter with shorter days and the possibility of snow drifts or black ice covering the roadways. Consider DriveSafe lenses, which feature anti-glare and UV protection to help you focus more on the road, dashboard and mirrors. These lenses reduce glare from oncoming headlights to help you see more clearly in all types of travel conditions.

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If you’re a contact lens wearer, try one-day contact lenses like MyDay, INFUSE, or ACUVUE OASYS 1-Day for dry winter days. Convenient daily disposable contact lenses may provide more comfort in dry air conditions. They’re created to increase oxygen permeability to the cornea to help maintain moisture for a comfortable fit all day long.

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5. Visit Your Optometrist


If you experience any vision discomfort, it is best to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. They can examine your eyes to determine the best solution for your needs.

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We will help select frames and lenses that may work best for your lifestyle and vision with frames and anti-reflective coating options.

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