Jul 1, 2024

How Air Conditioning Affects Your Eyes 

older woman adjusting the thermostat in her home

Jul 1, 2024

How Air Conditioning Affects Your Eyes 

On hot summer days in Hartford County, many of us rely on air conditioning to stay cool and comfortable. But have you ever noticed your eyes feeling dry or irritated after spending time in an air-conditioned environment? In this blog post, we’ll talk about how air conditioning can affect your eyes and what you can do to keep them feeling great all summer long. 

The impact of air conditioning on your eyes 

Air conditioning does a great job of cooling us down by removing moisture from the air. Unfortunately, this also means it can dry out the air around us. When the humidity levels drop, the natural tear film that keeps our eyes lubricated can evaporate more quickly. This leads to dry, irritated eyes—a condition known as dry eye. 

Dry eye can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including: 

  • Redness 
  • Itching 
  • A burning or stinging sensation 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • A gritty or sandy feeling in the eyes 
  • Blurred vision 

There are a few reasons why air-conditioned spaces can exacerbate dry eye symptoms. First, the constant flow of cool, dry air can speed up tear evaporation. Secondly, people tend to blink less frequently when they are focusing on tasks such as working on a computer or watching TV, which are common activities in air-conditioned environments. Blinking less often means that tears aren’t spread across the eyes as effectively, leading to dryness.   

Tips to protect your eyes in air-conditioned environments 

While it might be impossible to avoid air conditioning altogether, there are several steps you can take to protect your eyes: 

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help maintain your body’s overall hydration, which can also benefit your eyes. 
  • Use a humidifier: Adding moisture back into the air with a humidifier can help counteract the drying effects of air conditioning. 
  • Take regular breaks: If you’re working on a computer or watching TV, take regular breaks to rest your eyes and remember to blink frequently. 
  • Use artificial tears: Over-the-counter artificial tears can help lubricate your eyes and relieve dryness and discomfort.  

When to see an eye doctor 

If your dry eye symptoms persist despite your best efforts, it might be time to seek professional help. At Family Eye Care, our dry eye specialists in Bristol offer advanced treatments to help manage and relieve dry eye symptoms. One of the innovative treatments we provide is ZEST (Zocular Eyelid System Treatment). ZEST gently cleanses and exfoliates the eyelids and lashes, removing debris and bacteria that can contribute to dry eye and other eye issues. This treatment not only helps relieve dry eye symptoms but also promotes overall eye health and comfort. 

Don’t let dry eyes get in the way of enjoying your summer. Schedule an appointment with Family Eye Care in Bristol, Connecticut, today, and let us help you find relief and keep your eyes feeling great.