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How Calgary’s Weather Affects Your Eyes: Seasonal Dry Eye Tips

How Calgary’s Weather Affects Your Eyes: Seasonal Dry Eye Tips

Calgary's unique weather, including chinooks, intense summer UV rays, dry winter air, and windy transitional seasons, poses distinct challenges to eye health, particularly dry eye syndrome. Rapid temperature changes from chinooks can deplete eye moisture, while summer UV exposure demands protective sunglasses. Winter’s cold combined with indoor heating reduces humidity, exacerbating eye dryness, which can be mitigated with artificial tears and humidifiers. During windy seasons, protective eyewear is essential to guard against dust and debris. Understanding these seasonal dynamics and adopting proactive eye care strategies, such as using humidifiers and UV-protective sunglasses, helps Calgary residents maintain eye comfort and health throughout the year. For persistent issues, consulting an eye care professional is recommended.

When living in Calgary, the unique and varied climate becomes a significant part of your daily experience. Known for its dramatic weather shifts, Calgary can present a particular challenge to maintaining eye health, especially when it comes to dry eye syndrome. Dry eye occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes, a situation that can be exacerbated by environmental conditions. This can lead to discomfort, irritation, and if not managed properly, more serious eye health issues. In this blog, we’ll explore how Calgary's distinct seasonal changes can impact your eye health and provide practical tips to combat dry eye.

The Impact of Chinooks on Eye Moisture

Calgary is famous for its chinooks, a meteorological phenomenon that can cause rapid temperature changes within a few hours. While the warm winds of a chinook can offer a pleasant break from the cold winter temperatures, they can also lead to increased evaporation of moisture from your eyes. This sudden shift often catches people off guard, leaving their eyes feeling gritty and dry. It's important during these times to be proactive about eye care. Using a humidifier in your home or office can help by adding moisture back into the air, and thus, helping maintain the natural moisture balance in your eyes.

Summer Heat and UV Exposure

In the summer, Calgary experiences long days with a significant amount of sunlight. Exposure to UV rays from the sun can accelerate tear evaporation, leading to dry, uncomfortable eyes. To protect against this, wearing sunglasses with complete UV protection is crucial. Not only do they shield your eyes from harmful rays, but they also help reduce the rate of tear evaporation. Additionally, it’s wise to wear a hat with a wide brim for added shade and further protection, which can help you enjoy the outdoors while keeping your eyes comfortable and hydrated.

The Dryness of Winter and Indoor Heating

Winter in Calgary can be particularly harsh on your eyes. The combination of cold outside air and dry indoor heating can significantly reduce the humidity levels, leading to dry and irritated eyes. To combat this, be vigilant about using eye drops, preferably those that are preservative-free, to supplement your natural tear production. Keeping a portable bottle of artificial tears handy can be a lifesaver, especially on the coldest, driest days. Also, try to take regular breaks from screens to minimize eye strain and blink often to promote tear distribution.

Wind and Dust in Transitional Seasons

Spring and autumn in Calgary are often characterized by windy conditions that can stir up dust and pollen, contributing to eye irritation and dryness. Those with sensitive eyes or allergies might experience exacerbated symptoms during these months. To protect your eyes, it might be helpful to use wrap-around sunglasses that can block wind and debris from all angles. Additionally, staying indoors on particularly windy days or during high pollen counts can also help prevent dry eye symptoms from worsening.

Living in Calgary means adapting to a unique and challenging climate, especially when it comes to protecting your eye health. Each season brings its own set of challenges that can exacerbate dry eye symptoms. By understanding the specific conditions that contribute to dry eye in each season and taking proactive steps to combat these effects, you can enjoy all that Calgary has to offer without discomfort. Remember, if dry eye symptoms persist or worsen, it's important to consult with an eye care professional who can provide personalized advice and treatment options. With the right care, your eyes can remain healthy and comfortable throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside.

Written on behalf of Market Mall Optometry.


Q: What can I do to protect my eyes during Calgary's summer?
A: Wear sunglasses with complete UV protection and a hat with a wide brim to shield your eyes from intense UV rays and reduce tear evaporation.

Q: What should I do if my dry eye symptoms worsen despite these precautions?
A: Consult with an eye care professional to explore other treatment options or to check if there’s an underlying condition exacerbating your symptoms.

Q: How can chinooks affect my eye health?
A: Chinooks can cause rapid temperature changes that increase the evaporation of moisture from your eyes, leading to symptoms of dry eye like irritation and grittiness.

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