Happy family protecting eyes from Iowa winter weather.

February 22, 2018

5 Tips for Protecting Your Eyes This Winter

Seasonal dry air, harsh wind and sun glare. Eye protection is just as important during the winter months as in the summer.


Winter is here and the countdown to sunny days and your favorite sunglasses continues. However, do not let the cold, overcast days of winter fool you; your beloved shades are just as relevant during these winter months as in summer. Here are five tips to help safeguard your eyes through these last snowy weeks.

Wear Sunglasses

It may feel like the sun is nowhere to be found during the coldest of days but our sunny friend is still alive and well. UV exposure, regardless of the time of year, can make our eyes more susceptible to eye-related issues such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retina diseases such as macular degeneration. Look for sunglasses indicating that they block 99 percent or more of UVA and UVB radiation. Choose a wraparound style that filters out as much visible light as possible.

Wear UV Blocking Contact Lenses

Have you ever looked at the snowy ground and squinted? That is because light reflects off snow, which can be highly damaging to our eyes. If you are a contact lens wearer, it is important to choose lenses that incorporate UV-blocking materials. This will help to filter out the UV rays that may stray past hats or sunglasses.

Manage Dry Eyes

The cold winds, indoor furnace heat and overall seasonal dry air are notorious for irritating our eyes, especially in the winter months. Throw some moisturizing drops in your pocket or purse and use them to help with the seasonal dryness. Not only will your eyes feel better but also they are more likely to stay lubricated.

Wear a Hat

Hats keep our heads nice and toasty during the winter. They can also help block UV exposure from your eyes just like in summer. So whether you are bundling up to grab a coffee or shoveling the driveway, make sure to wear a broad-brimmed winter hat to help protect your eyes, as well as your skin from solar radiation.

Use Sunscreen

Place sunscreen next to your winter bundle-up gear so that you don’t forget to lather up when heading outdoors, even in the winter. Make sure to cover your face and neck with sunscreen as well as your eyelids! Select a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and apply about a half hour before.

American Academy of Ophthalmology