Winter brings some wonderful things like fresh snow and the holiday season, but it's also a time of year that can be pretty tough on your eyes. Take better care of your peepers this winter with these eye care tips.

Change your furnace filter regularly.

Indoor air quality matters more than ever in the winter because, if you're like most people, you spend more time inside. Allergens like dust and mold spores can irritate your eyes, making them dry and itchy. The best way to keep your indoor air clean is to change your furnace filter on a monthly basis. Consider upgrading to a HEPA filter, which will trap more small particles than a standard fiberglass or cotton one.

Wear sunglasses when it's sunny.

It's tempting to put your sunglasses on a shelf and forget about them for the winter, but they're still important. Sunny days still expose your eyes to harmful UV rays, which increase your risk of ocular cancer.  Plus, the light reflecting off the white snow can cause eye irritation and visual distortion. Keep your sunglasses handy – you may want to invest in a more rugged pair if you're worried about how they'll fare in the snow and wind.

Pack eye drops.

This is particularly important if you're a contact lens wearer. The dry, blowing wind in winter can make your eyes dry and itchy, and inserting eye drops will ensure you don't suffer from any corneal abrasions or infections as a result. If you do wear contacts, make sure the eye drops you buy are specifically formulated for contact lens wearers.

Don't touch your eyes.

Viral and bacterial illnesses, including those that cause pink eye, become more common in the winter when everyone is trapped inside and your immunity might be waning. To avoid these infections, avoid touching your eyes with your fingers and with anything that may be contaminated. Wash your hands thoroughly before inserting your contacts or using eye drops. (While this is important at any time of year, it's especially important in the winter!) If you do notice signs of an eye infection, such as red eyes or increased tearing, seek treatment immediately for the fastest recovery.

Winter is the perfect time to re-focus on good eye health. Grab your sunglasses and some eye drops, and keep eye care in the forefront as the temperature continues to drop. Talk to your eye doctor to learn more.