Wearing contact lenses in winter
The extreme cold, combined with winds, snow, rain and other environmental factors, can really increase irritation in your eyes. Here is what you should know about wearing contact lenses safely also in the winter.
A few winter questions
Contact lens wearers sometimes suffer from dry eyes, particularly in the colder months. This is usually caused by the environment, such as harsh weather or dry indoor conditions created by heating. We have compiled a few winter eye care questions you may find interesting.
Can contacts freeze?
Contact lenses won’t freeze, even in conditions as cold as -60 °C. Your body temperature will largely keep the lenses at a normal temperature. You won’t need to worry about the lenses getting too cold. You might feel some drying or discomfort in winter weather, but this can be solved by using eye drops or artificial tears. If you experience extreme discomfort, get in touch with your optician for a check-up.
Can my eyes get sunburned?
Harmful UV rays can cause immense damage to your eyes, which can lead to photokeratitis. This is when the top layers of your cornea are damaged. Symptoms of photokeratitis include pain and discomfort, swelling, light sensitivity, headaches, tearing and blurriness, small pupils, distorted colours and even temporary loss of vision. Your eye doctor will be able to give you treatment to ease the pain.
Sunglasses aren’t only important in summer – they’re useful in winter too. If you’re planning any winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding, remember to bring a pair of sunglasses that filter at least 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Snow can actually reflect UV rays and cause as much damage as if you were sunbathing in 40° heat!
Why do my eyes water?
Typically, your eyes water because they're dry. Seems paradoxical, but anything that irritates your eyes, including dry eye, causes a tearing reflex. Dry eye, a common condition in wintertime, occurs when winter winds evaporate moisture from the top layer of your cornea. That sends your tear glands working overtime to restore moisture.
Most cases of watery eyes aren’t serious and will resolve without treatment. In any case, remedies for watery eyes include the prescription of eye drops. You should always call your eye doctor right away if you experience any changes in your vision.
Do I have to change my lenses?
During winter months, it’s a good idea to open a new fresh pair of lenses each day to minimize the risk of developing seasonal dry eye. Changing your lenses daily is the simplest way to reduce irritation and increase comfort. So many people make the switch to daily disposable lenses.
Moreover, Silicone hydrogel lenses don’t allow water to evaporate and are most effective in maintaining the moisture in your eyes. To make your contact lens experience as comfortable as possible, ask your eye care professional for a Silicone Hydrogel lens.
Our tips and tricks
There are a few things you can do to keep your vision in good health this winter. Small lifestyles changes can have a huge impact on your eyes and your overall health. See below for our tips to enjoy your contacts in the winter.
- Use a humidifier to increase moisture levels in the air (and your eyes). Distance yourself from radiators while indoors so eyes won’t dry out as much.
- Use eye drops or artificial tears to a short term relief from any discomfort and to keep your contact lenses lubricated. It’s also important to have a good contact lens care routine to avoid dryness and possible infection.
- Make sure you keep hydrated also in cold, harsh weather conditions. In winter people tend to drink less water, leading to dehydration. Less water in the body means fewer tears in your eyes, which can cause dryness and discomfort.
- Try to boost your immune system to prevent flu and related symptoms by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, lean meats and fish.
- Limit the use of digital devices. Staring at a screen for a prolonged period reduces the blink rate and causes blurred vision and dry, irritated eyes. Digital eye strain can make your contact lenses uncomfortable to wear, so visit your optician to discuss the problem with him. In addition to checking your vision, an eye doctor will perform a custom evaluation of the eye and tear film to find the contact lenses that best match the individual’s needs.
Keeping your eyes healthy and moist during the colder months is made easy with our range of eye care products and daily contact lenses. Browse our best-seller products!