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Protecting Your Eyes From the Cold (& Why It’s Important)

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When the temperature drops below freezing we are quick to cover up as much as possible. After all, it goes without saying that the less exposed your body is to the elements, the warmer you will be.
From winter jackets to earmuffs, we pack on the layers one after another until we are completely covered up except for our eyes. Now it is okay to battle the cold, right?
Unfortunately, not quite yet: it is important to protect your eyes from the cold.

Cold Temperature & Your Eyes

Being located in Grande Prairie, we are not strangers to cold temperatures. Trust us when we tell you that from vision issues, pain and inflammation, and sunburn (yes, really!), cold weather can really take a toll on your eyes.

Vision Issues

Blisteringly cold temperatures can cause the blood vessels in our eyes to constrict or freeze our cornea. This process, as we are sure you have guessed, is very painful and can compromise visual clarity.
When this process occurs, double vision, blurred vision, and/or loss of vision are likely. It can be treated by simply allowing the eyes to return to normal temperature. In extreme cases, medication may be required to restore moisture in the eyes.

Pain and Inflammation

On top of pain caused by a corneal freeze, other pain may be present related to the cold weather. A combination of freezing cold weather and a brisk winter breeze can cause dry eye.
This condition is extremely uncomfortable and may cause the eyes to become red and swollen. In severe cases dry eye caused by cold temperatures could result in permanent damage.


We know what you are thinking: Sunburn? In winter?
Contrary to popular belief, UV can be more prevalent in winter than the summer due to the reflection of the sun’s harmful rays off of snow and ice.
Even in cold temperatures and overcast days the need for UV protection is present. Without proper protection, you could suffer from sunburn on your eye.

How to Protect Your Eyes

Now that we’ve brought attention to the risks of not protecting your eyes, let us explain how you can protect them. The best way to protect your eyes when going outside in low temperatures or winter winds are protective goggles or glasses.
Goggles and glasses act as a barrier between your eyes and the harsh conditions shielding them from wind. Always ensure you are wearing UV-blocking sunglasses or goggles during the day to prevent photokeratitis (sunburn on the eye).

But Just How Important Is It To Protect My Eyes?

How important it is to protect your eyes is completely up to you. If you feel that you have never done so before and have been fine, you may choose to ignore our advice (which we certainly do not recommend).
However, if you wish to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, grab yourself a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses or goggles sooner than later. And while we are on the topic, where better to purchase from than us?
Come check out our vast selection of designer brand sunglasses we carry. Both stylish and protective, our sunglasses are the perfect way to protect your eyes from harsh weather this winter.

Written by Dr. Kyla Hunter

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