Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why do eyes start to water in colder weather?"


What makes a person's eyes water when the weather is cold? This is a big problem for me, especially when I'm riding my bike, and I don't know how to make it stop. The thing I can't understand about it is that some days it's worse than others - even when the temperature is the same.


Watering of the eyes is actually a normal response to cold weather! The cold air stimulates the production of tears to protect the eyes and act as an insulator and lubricator. You may notice that some day to day variability in the amount of eye watering; this is probably because the humidity of the air varies from day to day, which can be more or less irritating even though the temperature is the same. The only good solution to eye watering while riding your bike in cold weather is to protect they eyes! Keeping the cold air out will keep them from watering.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

To do this you may want to purchase a pair of goggles that you can wear while biking, and this should help quite a bit. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern would require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up a visit with your eye doctor might be advised.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.