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Posted on 01-14-2016

Dry Eyes? It May Be Your Heater or AC!

Are your eyes itchy, watery, scratchy, or swollen? You may be suffering from dry eye syndrome, which is one of the most common reasons people visit our Kennesaw office. Your eyes naturally produce the optimum amount of tears to keep them lubricated and feeling comfortable. When this feeling changes, it's for one of two reasons: either you're producing fewer tears or the need for tears has increased. Damage to your tear ducts can happen, but the most common cause of dry eye syndrome is the environment in which you work or live.

Environmental Contributions to Dry Eye Syndrome

Your eyes may be suffering because of the way you work, or it may be no fault of your own. Regardless, any number of factors can cause this problem. The most common may be the air inside your home, car, or work. If you work outside in dry or dusty conditions, your eyes will naturally need more lubrication to remove dust particles and to keep the surface from drying out. If your work environment includes a lot of people who smoke, the residual smoke can irritate your eyes. But the most common causes for dry eye syndrome occur because people are trying to improve the air around them.

Air conditioning is designed to cool the air and make the inside of a building feel more comfortable. A big part of this process is removing moisture from the air to make the interior feel less humid. While this can feel great on a hot summer day, your eyes will interpret this as moving into the desert. If they can't increase the tear production and keep it up while you're in the building, the result will be red and scratchy eyes.

The same problem happens in the winter, but for the opposite reason. There's less moisture in the air naturally during winter in most parts of the country, and heating the air makes it even drier. If you live or work in a building with warm, dry air blowing out of vents all day, your eyes will feel like you're sitting in a dust storm. The result is a trip to our office, with painful, watery eyes.

In both of these situations the problem is easily solved. Keep the air conditioning off as much as possible in the summer. In the winter, invest in a humidifier to put back the moisture into the air. Your eyes will be more comfortable all year long. Use air purifiers to remove any smoke residue you may be feeling, and check with our doctor about using eye drops to temporarily relieve your symptoms.

What problems do you have in your environment that are causing dry eye syndrome?

John marsh said:

Teach driving in car from 8 am till 6 . Noticesed in November eyes become sore and dry and aching it was about November put heating on in car hoping come spring things will turn back to normal

2018-02-28 03:43:58

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