Dry eye is often inherent in the cold winter seasons. However, the condition can get worse during summer. Several factors can contribute to this during the hot, dry months. They include:
Tears evaporate faster when there is too much sun. Water composes a considerable portion of your eyes overall and helps keep your eyes stay moist and healthy. High temperatures during the summer increase your chances of dehydration. Insufficient water means your body cannot produce enough tears, exacerbating dry eye symptoms.
Many people prefer to cool off at the pool during the summer, however people with dry eye syndrome should take a few precautions. Chemicals like chlorine in swimming pools can hurt your eyes by inflaming the tear film. The chemical causes the water inside it to evaporate, leaving your eyes dry. The dryness makes them susceptible to inflammation and contamination.
To remedy this, wear swimming goggles or apply prescription eyedrops before taking a dip. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before swimming. Otherwise, rinse your eyes well after getting out of the water.
When it’s hot, staying outside in the humid air soothes dry eye symptoms. The moderate moisture in that environment helps keep your eyes moist. However, you may spend most of the day in your office, home, or car. Most of these areas require you to turn on the air conditioner, but this appliance removes humidity from the air and worsens symptoms. Air conditioning for someone with dry eye syndrome feels like the windiness during winter.
Dry eye syndrome leaves you sensitive to smoke from wildfires and campfires. They exacerbate the symptoms of the condition. Wildfires, pollution, and dust intensify the number of poisons in the air that cause eye pain and irritation. These include particulate matter and carbon monoxide. A recent study shows how smoke from wildfires increases dry eye symptoms.
Debris and chemicals in air pollution and smoke can physically damage the surface of your eyes. Such injuries are worse for sufferers of dry eye syndrome since their eyes generate fewer tears. Doing this makes it difficult to flush out foreign materials.
Just because you suffer from this condition does not mean you cannot have fun during summer. You should find ways to control the symptoms and safeguard the health of your eyes. Some of the things to do are:
Wear sunglasses or special contact lenses - Choose wraparound sunglasses that best guard you from the harsh elements.
Use humidifiers - It helps replace the moisture lost indoors because of air conditioning.
Use eye drops - These are ideal for mild dry eye symptoms. For severe conditions, get a stronger prescription from your physician.
Drink a lot of water - Hydration helps your eyes produce tears.
Alter air conditioning vents - Adjust the air vents in your car and avoid sitting close to air conditioning units.
Nutritional supplements - Ask your doctor to recommend omega-3 supplements before self-medicating.
For more on the effects of summer on dry eye syndrome, visit Advanced Eyecare Central Coast at our office in Pismo Beach, California. Call (805) 773-6000 to schedule an appointment today.