Winter is here, and with it comes a variety of festivals and events across the province. You may be spending more time outdoors with family or friends as you brave the weather to celebrate the season. You know it’s truly winter when you step out into the brisk morning air and it’s cold enough to make your eyes water. Some people wonder if watery eye symptoms could indicate a problem. In fact, it’s a healthy response to the drop in temperature. Cold air doesn’t hold the same amount of moisture in it as warmer summer air does, and our eyes recognize the difference right away. The tears start flowing to generate lubrication, which helps your eyes function comfortably and efficiently. When tears roll down your cheeks in the chilly air, your body’s response to the cold may seem a tad excessive, but there’s not much to do but dab them away with a tissue. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can use to keep your eyes protected from the cold air when you’re out experiencing winter at events across Québec.
For some people, the tear ducts can’t quite keep up, so the crisp weather can bring on the opposite experience: painful dry eyes. When blinking isn’t able to provide enough lubrication, the eyes can become scratchy and irritated. Over the counter eye drops are an effective way to help treat dry eyes in winter that are caused by cooler temperatures.
Glasses and sunglasses are an aid against the cold weather, acting as a barrier that provides insulation to your eyes. Winter sunglasses also protect against the bright light reflected off of snow, which can cause eye irritation at this time of year.
If you still suffer from dry eyes upon returning indoors, consider using a humidifier to add extra moisture into the air. Some houses with furnaces have humidifiers built in, but people often find an additional portable humidifier to be beneficial.
If your eyes are sensitive to cold air, we recommend visiting your optometrist who will work with you to find a solution. Signs of the dry eye condition include a stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes, sensitivity to light, eye redness, watery eyes and blurred vision. If you’re looking for the perfect pair of shades to protect your eyes this winter, check out Visique’s selection of sunglasses.
Now that you know how to protect your eyes from cold air, have no fear when you attend winter festivals this season! Here’s a list of some of the show-stopper events across Québec you may want to attend:
From January 31st to February 17th, experience winter magic at this special seasonal festival. To winter sports like skiing and snowboarding to snow sculpting and super slides, there’s fun for the entire family. Keep an eye out for the treasure hunt and tug of war games!
Over the span of four consecutive weekends starting January 18th, visit this popular outdoor event for spectacular activities and shows. Grab your skates and glide along the Radio-Canada Skater’s path or experience the delight of 16 tube sliding lanes for the first time ever! Are you brave enough to go down the “super slide”? Reach top speed in this special drop for the daring. Other activities include, ice sculpture shows, acrobat displays, huskies course for kids, snowshoeing and hockey.
Possibly the largest winter festival in Québec, this historic celebration will last from February 7th to 16th in 2020 in Old Québec, over a hundred years after its 1894 debut. Hang out with Bonhomme, attend exclusive musical performances, snow sled, take part in the Hydro-Quebec parade, and witness the annual canoe race! Tickets available here.
This culinary festival launched in 2000, and will return from February 20th to March 1st. It’s free to attend outdoors and features light attractions, a maple ferris wheel, 60-foot urban slide, zip line, free shows and of course, food kiosks with delectable gourmet treats.
In the mood for some creative expression? This winter festival takes place from February 6th to 9th and is all about the arts. Sculptors will create enchanting snow statues; an emphasis on local heritage will be exemplified through music, sport, fireworks and workshops. Check out some of the incredible sculptures created last year here.
Winter can be an exciting time, whether you decide to attend a festival or simply experience the pleasure of Canada’s great outdoors. Remember to keep our tips in mind to reduce the effects of winter dry eyes. If you even have any questions or concerns about dry eyes don’t hesitate to visit a Visique clinic near you.
Dr Frédéric Marchand, optométriste