Ah, summer! The season of sun, sand, and... dry eyes? Summer can be a real struggle for those suffering from dry eye syndrome. The hot weather and outdoor activities can worsen your symptoms and make you feel like you're stranded in a desert.
Fortunately, we have some tips and tricks to help you manage your dry eye in the summer season.
At Lifetime Eyecare Associates, we offer comprehensive eye exams and personalized treatment plans to help you manage your dry eye symptoms. Book an appointment with our practice in The Woodlands, and let's keep your eyes happy and healthy all year round!
What Causes Dry Eyes in the Summer?
Research has shown that dry eye symptoms tend to be less severe during the summer, likely due to the warmer, more humid weather and increased time spent outdoors. However, several factors can contribute to dry eye among patients during this time of year.
Living in hot and humid areas like the Woodlands and Spring means we rely heavily on air conditioning during the summer to stay cool and comfortable. The cold, dry air from the AC unit causes tears to evaporate more quickly, leading to dryness and discomfort. Car AC units can also be problematic for dry eye sufferers, as they often blow air directly into a person’s face.
A common problem during the summer months is dehydration. The hot weather causes us to sweat more and lose fluids. According to one study, dehydration can contribute to developing and worsening dry eye symptoms.
A familiar summer activity that can contribute to dry eyes is swimming. Chlorine and other chemicals in swimming pools irritate the eyes and cause them to dry out.
Smoke and Irritants
Summer barbecues are a beloved tradition for many, but did you know that the smoke from the grill can contribute to dry eyes? Smoke contains a variety of irritants and particles that can cause the eyes to become dry, itchy, and uncomfortable.
How to Manage Summer Dry Eyes
Thankfully, there are many effective methods to prevent and manage dry eye in the summer, ensuring that you can fully enjoy all the season has to offer without being held back by discomfort or irritation.
According to the AAO, one of the most significant things you can do for your eyes is to stay hydrated. Drinking water helps lubricate your eyes and prevent them from drying out. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.
Protect Your Eyes
Wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes from more than just the sun's harmful UV rays. Sunglasses can also help shield your eyes from smoke and other irritants. Additionally, wearing goggles while swimming can help protect your eyes and reduce irritation.
Rinse Your Eyes
It's crucial to rinse your eyes with clean water after participating in summer activities like swimming or barbecuing. It helps to effectively remove any irritants or residual chemicals that may have accumulated.
Use Artificial Tears
Using artificial tears is a standard dry eye treatment that can help lubricate your eyes and reduce dryness. If you are spending more time outdoors, it’s a good idea to carry them with you. Use them as needed to keep your eyes moist and comfortable.
Take Breaks from Screens
Prolonged screen time causes eye strain and dry eye symptoms. Take frequent breaks from screens to give your eyes a rest. Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
Use a Humidifier
While air conditioning can be a lifesaver during hot summers, it can also dry out your eyes. If you’re using air conditioning, keep the temperature moderate and use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Consult with an Optometrist
If you are experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms, consult with an optometrist. At Lifetime Eyecare Associates, we can perform a comprehensive eye exam and recommend a dry eye treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Trusted Eye Doctors in The Woodlands and Spring
If you have any questions or concerns about your eye health, don't hesitate to call us at Lifetime Eyecare Associates. We are here to help you maintain healthy eyes all year round.