6 Tips for Managing Dry Eyes This Summer

Looking forward to the relaxed schedules and outdoor adventures of summer but wondering how to avoid the irritation and discomfort associated with chronic dry eyes and summertime fun?

Our board-certified specialists at University Ophthalmology, serving the Hyde Park area of Chicago, Illinois, are dedicated to supporting your eye health year-round. Check out these six tips we’ve put together to help you avoid the discomfort of dry eyes during the summer season.

1. Keep summertime glare at a minimum

Harsh sunlight and the glare reflecting off surfaces like water and concrete can irritate eyes. This is especially true with chronic dry eye, which causes increased light sensitivity. 

Avoid excessive glare by donning your favorite hat and sunglasses that offer UV protection when headed outdoors. Consider a pair of prescription-strength sunglasses if you wear glasses regularly or for use when not wearing your contacts.

2. Avoid the drying effects of air conditioning

If you’re used to dealing with chronic dry eyes during the winter, you know about the drying effects of indoor heat. The same problem occurs with air conditioning, which lowers the humidity levels in your home. This results in cooler temps but significantly dries the air and exacerbates dry eye symptoms. 

Resolve this problem by using air conditioning along with a portable or system-wide humidifier when summer temperatures climb.

3. Protect your eyes when you’re in the water  

Whether you’re enjoying a day poolside or boating at the lake, water can irritate and inflame dry eye symptoms. If you can’t resist opening your eyes underwater, don a pair of goggles or a scuba mask to protect your eyes while appreciating the view.  

4. Enjoy the fire, but avoid the smoke

Even without chronic dry eyes, heat and smoke from campfires contain particles that irritate and dry out your eyes. Don’t skip the campfire, but sit far enough back that you can enjoy it without experiencing the worsening effects of dry eyes. Remember that outdoor grills can produce the same eye and respiratory irritants as a campfire.  

5. Try artificial tears

Use eye drops, or artificial tears, to relieve dry eye symptoms worsened by the effects of summertime sun, wind, and sand. Follow the package’s directions, but skip products that clear eye redness since they contain ingredients that can irritate and worsen chronic dry eye symptoms.

6. Check with your ophthalmologist

While everyone can experience eye strain and fatigue, chronic dry eyes can cause persistent irritation, blurring, and other visual issues. When over-the-counter drops and other home remedies aren’t enough, your University Ophthalmologist specialist can provide therapies to combat the effects of chronic dry eyes.

Schedule a visit at University Ophthalmology for an accurate diagnosis regarding chronic dry eyes and a personalized treatment strategy that relieves your symptoms. Call the office or request an appointment online today.



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