Summer is almost here and while warmer days are welcomed by most, for others the hot weather brings with it the irritation of dry eyes—a condition Preston Specsavers has seen a rising number of.
While dry eye syndrome is often mistakenly believed to be caused only by the harsh effects of cold winter winds, this common condition can be exacerbated in summer, when, just like our bodies, our eyes, and specifically, the cornea, can become dehydrated.
Now Sean Buckley, ophthalmic director at Preston Specsavers, is offering helpful tips to help prevent symptoms such as eye soreness, a gritty sensation in the eyes and dryness.
Traditionally, people over 40 years old are more susceptible to the problem - which is caused by the eye’s inability to maintain a healthy layer of tears to coat it. However air-conditioned office buildings and high computer use are amongst the aggravating factors which have led to a growing number of people reporting the same symptoms all year round.
Sean said: ‘We’ve certainly seen a growth in the number of customers, of all ages, complaining of irritation and dryness in the summer months.
‘Ironically, one of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome is watery eyes while others include uncomfortable dry or gritty feelings in the eye, burning or itching, redness, hazy vision and sensitivity to light.
‘The term ‘dry eye’ is used when the oil content of the tears doesn’t efficiently lubricate the eye. People with dry eyes often have plenty of watery tears so adding eye drops may seem to not make sense but it’s actually a vital contribution to the oil content of the tears.’
More cases than ever
‘Tips to prevent irritation include reducing the setting on your air conditioning unit, avoiding spending too much time in front of your computer and simply drinking more water to avoid dehydration.’
The summer is an ideal time to get your eyes tested as bright conditions can make you susceptible to eyestrain and everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or sooner if you are experiencing problems.