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As winter sets in and temperatures drop, it’s essential to consider how the season can impact your vision and overall eye health. From harsh winds to dry indoor air, various factors during the colder months can affect the well-being of your eyes. Spectrum Eye Care takes a closer look at them below.

Dry Air

Dry air is prevalent during the winter, both outdoors due to the cold weather and indoors due to heating systems. This lack of humidity can strip the eyes of their natural moisture, leading to a condition known as dry eye syndrome. Symptoms include redness, irritation, a gritty feeling and even watery eyes as the body tries to compensate for the dryness. If left untreated, dry eye can damage the cornea and impair vision.

Increased Exposure to UV Rays

Sun glare from snow and ice can increase exposure to harmful UV rays, even on cloudy days. This can lead to photokeratitis, a condition similar to sunburn of the eyes. Symptoms can include redness, blurry vision, sensitivity to light and a temporary loss of vision, often known as “snow blindness”.


The wind can pose another threat to your eyes during the winter months. Strong winter winds can cause your eyes to tear up and become red and irritated. In more severe cases, the wind can carry small particles that can scratch and damage the eye surface.

Blue Light Exposure

In winter, people often spend more time indoors using digital devices. The blue light emitted from these screens can cause strain on your eyes, also known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. Symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain. Prolonged exposure to blue light can also disrupt your sleep patterns.

Preventive Measures and Eye Care Tips for Winter

To protect your eyes in winter, make sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Invest in good-quality sunglasses. Certain sunglasses can block 100% UV rays to protect your eyes from increased exposure to harmful UV rays.

  • Keep your eyes well-hydrated. Use artificial tears or a humidifier indoors to combat dry air. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps keep your body and your eyes hydrated.

  • Take regular breaks from screens to reduce your blue light exposure. Follow the 20-20-20 rule — every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

  • Wear protective eyewear. When going outside, make sure to wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from the wind and potential debris.

  • Schedule eye exams. This is crucial to maintaining eye health, particularly in the winter. These check-ups allow your optometrist to detect early signs of eye conditions. They can also provide personalized advice and treatment options based on your needs and circumstances.

Ensure Eye Health in the Winter

Winter might be challenging for your eyes, but you can keep them in great shape with the right care. For all your eye care needs in and around Charlotte, NC, Spectrum Eye Care is here to help. Give us a call at (704) 543-9000, or send us a message online on our contact page to schedule a consultation!