How to Care for Watery Eyes in Cold Weather?

Winter Eye Care Tips

Winter, with its cold air and wind, can be hard on those of us with sensitive eyes. Many people struggle with watery eyes during cold weather. A trip outside can result in your eyes streaming with too many tears. On the other hand, turning the heating up can cause dry, itchy eyes. 

Our experts are here to help you understand what causes your eyes to water in cold weather and what you can do it ease it. 

Why do your eyes water in cold weather?

The main reason you get watery eyes in cold weather is because your body is trying to protect your eyes. When exposed to cold air, the body’s natural response is to produce extra tears to maintain your eye’s sensitive surface cells.

You might find that all those excess tears are uncomfortable and annoying. Now you know your eyes are watering in the cold because of your body’s protective mechanisms kicking in.

How do cold temperatures and wind affect your eyes?

Cold weather can be challenging for your eye health. Cold air can disrupt the tear film on the eye’s surface. Your tear film is crucial for maintaining eye moisture, so when disrupted in cold temperatures, it can produce too many tears. 

Then we have the added effect of cold wind on your eyes to add to the mix. Wind aggravates the challenges posed by cold weather. It speeds up the evaporation of natural tears and wicks them away from the eye’s surface. This can also lead to irritation and excessive tearing. 

What other eye issues are common in winter?

We will take you through some potential eye issues associated with cold weather and give you some easy tips to relieve them.

1. Styes

While watery eyes are a common complaint in the winter, there are other eye conditions associated with cold weather. Prolonged exposure to cold air and harsh wind, or conditions such as blepharitis can make eyes more susceptible to infections, including styes. 

What are styes? They are painful, red lumps that can form on the eyelid, typically caused by blocked oil glands. To reduce the risk of eye stye, avoid direct exposure to cold air and consider using protective eyewear in windy conditions.

2. Puffy Eyes

Cold weather and winter heating can also contribute to puffy eyes. This is due to a combination of factors. The dry air and fluctuating temperatures can lead to dehydration, affecting the delicate skin around the eyes. 

Additionally, the body’s natural response to cold, including extra tears, can contribute to puffiness. To address puffy eyes, stay hydrated, use moisturising eye creams, and consider applying a warm compress to retain eye moisture. 

You can also try our Blepha® Eyebag – a reusable warming eye mask for rapid and long-lasting relief of dry, tired, and sore eyes. It is clinically proven to provide comfort and treat Blepharitis.

3. Dry Eyes

We know cold weather can cause your eyes to water a lot, but did you know it can also be a factor in causing dry, irritated eyes? That’s because the cold air outside, plus heated air inside can reduce overall humidity levels, leading to evaporative dry eye. 

If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms in winter, consider using a humidifier, staying well-hydrated, and incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Nutrof® Total is Europe’s No. 1 eye health multivitamin with a premium comprehensive formula that has been specially developed to help make sure your eyes have the correct nutritional intake and help you maintain healthy eyes and vision.

For fast relief from evaporative dry eyes in winter we recommend you use Thealipid. These eye drops are clinically proven to restore and protect the ocular surface and control tear evaporation. This provides lasting relief from dry eye symptoms and evaporative dry eye.

4. Itchy Eyes and Seasonal Allergies

We can add allergies to the eye health challenges posed by cold weather. As you stay indoors more in the cold months this can exacerbate any existing allergies which affect your eyes. Watch out for itchy eyes caused by common indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and mould.

If you find your eyes itching and irritated in winter, we recommend you check if seasonal allergies are a contributing factor. To keep allergens under control regularly clean your living spaces, use air purifiers, and consult with an eye care professional for appropriate allergy management.

Alternatively, you can use Zaspray® – a 3-in-1 solution that hydrates, lubricates, and soothes the eyes. It relieves itchy, irritated dry eyes caused by allergies. Zaspray is 100% preservative-free, easy to use, and ideal for those who struggle with eye drops.

Caring for watery eyes in cold weather involves not only understanding the underlying causes but also implementing practical tips to reduce discomfort and promote eye health. You can use our symptom checker to find out what eye condition you may have and seek care for it. By adopting a comprehensive approach to eye care, you can enjoy the beauty of the season without compromising the well-being of your eyes.