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The winter weather can be harsh on your eyes. Here are some of the ways that winter can affect your eye health, and some tips for prevention.

Driving in winter

The long winter nights and low light levels, together with adverse weather conditions, can make driving in winter more difficult, so:

  • Make sure your windscreen is clean, inside and out
  • Ask your optometrist if it would help if you had glasses for driving, even if you don’t need them at other times
  • If you wear glasses, ask about having anti-reflection coating on the lenses to reduce the effects of glare
  • Don’t wear tinted glasses for driving at night, as they will make it more difficult to see.

Winter sun

Sunglasses aren’t just for summer. Snow and ice are reflective, so the sun’s rays can reach your eyes from below as well as above. The low sun in winter can be particularly dazzling, so wear sunglasses on sunny winter days, particularly when driving.

Hitting the slopes? Buy ski eyewear that has a CE mark and is made by a reputable manufacturer.

Dry eyes

Central heating can make already dry eyes feel worse. There are some simple steps you can take to feel more comfortable:

  • Lower the temperature in rooms when possible
  • Open windows, even for a few minutes when possible
  • Use a humidifier, or have a bowl of water near the radiator to help humidify the air
  • You can get moisturising eye drops or ointments over the counter from your optometrist or pharmacist if you need to.

Winter lighting

You will see better in bright light than in dim light, so you might find that you need to wear your glasses more when the lighting is poor. If you have problems seeing in low light, we recommend:

  • Sitting close to a window during the day if you need to see something clearly, like the text in a book or magazine
  • Having good lighting at home, including a light source, like a desk light, close to you when you need it.

If you still have difficulty seeing, book an appointment with your optometrist.