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Dry eyes: air-conditioning and heating systems could be the culprits

Almost everybody has experienced it at least once in their lives: after a long-haul flight, a midsummer’s day in the office or a long car or train journey, your eyes start causing you trouble. They feel dry, are reddened, burn and water. Above all, the cause is air-conditioning systems which run at full blast in summer. But it is not only the cooling blower that causes premature evaporation of the tear film – dry air from the heating has the same effect in winter. In both cases, lubricating eye drops are the products of choice to restore lost moisture to the strained cornea and conjunctiva.

Air-conditioning systems may provide a pleasant room temperature but they make the eyes dry out quickly.
Air-conditioning systems may provide a pleasant room temperature but they make the eyes dry out quickly.

Why is an undamaged tear film so important?

The tear film performs many important tasks to ensure that the eye functions fully. Above all, it supplies the cornea with oxygen and nutrients. It lubricates the cornea, the conjunctiva and the insides of the eyelids in order to keep the structures smooth. In addition, it washes away foreign bodies and repels infections thanks to germ-killing substances. This can only be achieved, however, if the lacrimal fluid is replaced around 15 times per minute with the aid of blinking.

 

Now, if a cool draught of air from the air-conditioning is blowing directly at your eyes or very dry ambient air prevails in a room, the tear film evaporates before it can be renewed. The result is quickly noticeable: red veins become pronounced, the cornea burns and itches, and you have the feeling of having a scratchy foreign body in your eye. Furthermore, your eyes can swell up and feel over-tired or over-stressed.

Has the air-conditioning dried out your eyes? This can help immediately!

Someone who is sat in an office or is travelling by train does not have the opportunity to get relief with a cooling eye mask. In this case, you need a remedy which works quickly, is easy to use and inconspicuous, and does not impair vision. Depending on the intensity of the symptoms, HYLO® EYE CARE offers a range of lubricating eye drops.

 

HYLO-COMOD®  lubricating eye drops have proven themselves for treating mild to moderate symptoms. HYLO® FRESH eye drops refresh the eyes and relieve irritation which arises in dry ambient air.

Supplementary measures for dry eyes

Alongside the use of lubricating eye drops, there is a range of things you can do to prevent dry eyes:

 

  • Drink enough liquids. The ideal amount is around two litres of water, unsweetened tea or diluted fruit juices spread over a day. Important: anyone who suffers from water retention should consume less. If you are uncertain, consult your doctor to find out the most suitable quantity of liquid for you.
  • Limit your salt consumption. The white crystals cause water retention in tissue. Pay close attention here to hidden salt content in ready-made meals or condiments. Our tip: use fresh herbs for cooking. These also supply valuable vitamins for your eyes.
  • Try to get at least seven hours sleep a day. Lack of sleep not only has a negative effect on the ability to concentrate, but also on the eyes.
  • Of course it is not always possible, but try to avoid air-conditioned rooms. Discuss with your colleagues if, for example, in the office the air-conditioning has to be on every day – insofar as you have a say in the matter.
  • The same is true for the heating in winter. Obviously, you shouldn’t feel cold, but you should make sure that you replace the lost moisture. Air humidifiers and bowls of water on the radiators are ideal for this. In addition, regular ventilation is important to let fresh oxygen in.

Dry eyes – when to go to the doctor?

If you still have a dry sensation in your eye after three days, the pain is increasing or there is a build-up of pus in your eye, you should urgently consult an eye doctor.