The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises people visiting Denver in the winter to care for their eye health. Cold weather, especially in Denver, has harsh winds, dry air, and steep drops in temperature. These factors combine with intense sunlight. The light and heat from above bounce office, snow, and other reflective surfaces. If you want to find out how to protect your eyes in cold Denver weather, here’s what you should know:
You tend to have watery eyes when you step out in the cold. Enjoying a bright winter day in Denver means that your tears evaporate right away because of the cold air. This evaporation results in a thinner layer of tears to protect the surface of your eyes. Lack of tears prompts your lacrimal glands to produce more. The tears tend to be excessive enough to roll down your cheeks.
It may be helpful to carry artificial tears in your pocket at all times when you are outside. Try to wear UV protective sunglasses or goggles, especially when participating in activities in the snow or water. Avoid smoke because this can dry up your eyes as well. When you are indoors, a humidifier can be comforting to your eyes because it adds moisture to the air. Make sure to keep away from fans or heaters, which can dry your eyes.
It also helps to reduce the wear time for your contacts, which divert the flow of tears away from your eyes. You should also see your eye doctor if your eyes are watering severely. Punctal plugs can limit the draining of tears from your eyes.
During winter, the air becomes dry. It holds less water than summer air. That is why it dries your eyes even if they keep producing tears. Denver has harsh winter winds as well, making conditions worse for your eyes. When your eyes are dry, it can cause itchiness, stickiness, burning, and redness, all of which can make you feel like something is in your eye. Remedies for dry eyes in cold weather are the same as those for watery eyes.
The medical term for this eye condition is photokeratitis. It is caused by UV damage to your eyes from intense sunlight. During winter in Denver, snow and reflective surfaces surround you. Your eyes bathe in bright sunlight from all directions. If you don’t protect your eyes, photokeratitis strikes. Always wear proper UV eye protection when you go out in the snow during a winter day.
Taking good care of your eye health during the cold winter months in Denver can help you enjoy your time here. The tips shared above allow you to engage in recreational snow activities without worrying about eye issues. At Optical Masters, we educate our patients about proper eye care during seasonal changes. Please visit our clinics in Denver, Colorado, for an in-person consultation. You can also call us at 720-780-8881 (Monaco, Main Store) or 720-780-9970 (Federal) for appointment scheduling or inquiries about our seasonal eye care packages.