If you suffer from dry eye disease (DED), you likely know how much summer weather can aggravate this condition. Dry weather could cause discomfort for many people with Meibomian Gland dysfunction, for instance, an affliction associated with chronic dry eye. As you prepare for summertime activities and events, review the following guidelines for optimal eye health.
How Summer Weather Can Aggravate Dry Eye Disease
A broad variety of factors may impact people suffering from Dry Eye Disease in the summer. These are some of the most common ways that hot, dry or humid weather might increase eye discomfort:
- Climate – If you live in an area that experiences high temperatures and has an arid climate, your eyes need to work harder at keeping your eye surface moist with tears. Additionally, extra exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can exacerbate Dry eye.
- Air conditioning – Indoor climate controls can also impact the state of your eyes, as air conditioning can dry out indoor air. When the air conditioning system in your home or office is used regularly, your eye glands will have to work harder to maintain a strong protective tear film.
- Smoke – If you attend outdoor parties or barbecue at home, the smoke at these events can certainly contribute to dry, red, itchy eyes. Additionally, those who live or go anywhere near wildfires may be vulnerable to more severe dry eye symptoms.
- Water – Swimming may add to Dry Eye and overall eye sensitivity. If your summertime activities include being in or near salt water, salt may get into your eyes and irritate them. The chemicals in swimming pools and hot tubs can also trigger DED.
- Skin Creams and Other Chemicals – In the summertime, your eyes might react to various substances you apply to your skin. Sunscreen, for example, can cause stinging in your eyes if not applied carefully. Bug block spray may also make its way into your eyes. Your own sweat is another substance that can cause irritation!
Controlling Dry Eye Symptoms in Summer
To prevent a case of Dry Eye from advancing to a state that makes you miserable, employ an assortment of strategies.
- Use sunscreen made for sensitive eyes and skin, and use caution when you apply it.
- Buy a good pair of wraparound sunglasses and/or eyewear with powerful UV protection.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim that helps to block the sunlight from your eyes.
- At home and at work, try to avoid sitting near air conditioning vents.
- Wear goggles when swimming.
- Position yourself upwind of the BBQ grill whenever possible.
Great Home Treatments for Dry Eye
Summertime weather and activities may lead to further discomfort. Fortunately, you can take several steps at home to alleviate the irritation:
- Eat foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or take a supplement that provides this important nutrient for your eyes.
- Drink plenty of water, as well as fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated.
- Use eye drops or an ointment after an activity like swimming to help keep or restore your tears to their proper balance.
- Apply heat compresses for Dry Eye every day, such as the EyeGiene® Insta-Warmth™ system with Warming Wafers. These are easy to apply, and they may be used virtually anywhere. You can even use the masks and wafers while relaxing at the pool or on the patio, as they do not require a microwave.
Protect Eyes Against Dry Eye Disease in the Heat of Summer
By taking a few simple steps now, you may prevent the symptoms of DED and MGD from diminishing your enjoyment of summer! You should be able to enjoy the season with minimal eye irritation with consistent home treatments.
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