A girl wearing colored contacts with pink chapped lips. She is wearing a hat.

Contact Lenses and Cold Weather

This time of year is perfect for wrapping up in a blanket, sipping hot chocolate and spending time with family. However, with the season comes cold and bitter weather, and these conditions can be extremely harsh on your eyes and contact lenses.

But don’t worry. Like always, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to ensure your eyes stay happy and healthy during even the chilliest days.

Winter and Dry Eyes

Michigan winters are packed with snow, wind and bitter temperatures. We love how beautiful our state gets in cold weather, but these harsh conditions can often irritate eyes.

The winter months are drier than others, which can stimulate a tearing reflex in our eyes. That’s why you might find yourself blinking away tears when the temperatures drop.

When the whipping winds make contact with the eyes’ surface, even if you’re wearing contact lenses, the moisture of your eyes gets stripped. As a result, your eyes try to counteract the dryness by producing more tears.

To help cut down on random crying while still keeping your eyes moisturized, try artificial tears, contact lens specific lubricating drops, a humidifier, or some of these tricks!

Eye Protection

Yes, even in the cold months, it’s important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

You might be surprised to learn that your eyes can suffer from sunburn. You might be even more surprised to learn that the light reflecting off the snow and ice can evoke some very powerful UV rays, even on a cloudy day!

If your eyes do suffer from sunburn, the condition generally clears up after a few days, but during that time, you can’t wear your contacts.

Protect your eyes this year by making sure you wear sunglasses all year round. Not only do sunglasses protect you from UV rays, but they can act as a barrier between your eyes and the wind. That can help reduce dry eyes and irritation from winter breezes.

Contact Care

Despite what you may have heard, we can confidently tell you your contact lenses won’t freeze to your eyes even on the coldest of days.

Although you won’t be in danger of frozen lenses, it is important to keep your contacts moist. You’ll also need lenses that are best suited for your eyes. If you have naturally dry eyes, specialized lenses may be a good option for the cold months. Our team can help you find the right fit to keep your eyes happy all season long.

So what are you waiting for? Make sure to schedule an appointment with us to prepare for the upcoming cold weather. We can help you find properly fitted lenses that will suit all of your winter needs.

Rx Optical Blog Image Dry Eyes in Winter 11.28.18

5 Ways to Prevent Dry Eyes in the Winter

Winter is coming! In addition to Michigan winters being rough on our cars and our roads, the cold air outside combined with dry indoor heat can be a perfect recipe for dry eyes and discomfort. Thanks to the climate here in the northern Midwest, one of the most common patient complaints during the winter months is dry eyes.

Harsh winter weather can reduce the moisture in your eyes, causing irritation. This eye irritation can create a burning or itching sensation, and most of the time, people will try to relieve this by rubbing their eyes, which will actually make things worse.

Here are five easy tips you can incorporate into your winter routine to help alleviate dry eyes: 

Drink Water

Drinking plenty of water not only helps keep your body hydrated and healthy, but it also helps maintain moisture levels in your eyes. Did you know that the average adult should drink about half a gallon of water each day? If you’re experiencing dry eyes, be sure to examine your water intake, as you may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking.

Keep Your Distance from Heat

While the warmth from a fireplace or a vent is nice and cozy during the colder months, the heat blowing onto your face will inevitably dry out your eyes. If you want to keep your eyes moisturized, don’t sit directly in front of the fireplace, a space heater, or a heat vent.

Give Your Contacts a Break

Do you wear contacts every single day? Are you remembering to give your eyes a break from contacts once in a while? Contacts create a barrier that prevent oxygen from getting to your eyes, which can eventually dry out your eyes.

If you’re suffering from dry eyes, take out your contacts for a few days to alleviate irritation and stick with your glasses. You should also consider talking to your optometrist about switching to contacts that are better suited for those with dry eye symptoms.

Wear Sunglasses

The sun doesn’t set with summer, so you should always remember to wear sunglasses in the winter. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from damaging UV rays and will help block out any harsh winds that could dry out your eyes.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

One of the worst things that you can do to your irritated and dry eyes is rub them. We know it is tempting, and can feel like an easy solution, but it will only worsen the irritation and can even lead to infections if your hands aren’t clean.

 

At Rx Optical, we want to help you have fun and enjoy the winter months in Michigan. If your dry eyes are keeping you from your favorite winter activities, stop in for a comprehensive eye exam so that you can get back in the snow without dry or irritated eyes.