Summer Doesn't Have to Mean Dry Eyes

Posted by Mike Graham on Jun 26, 2024 7:38:08 AM


Summer Doesn't Have to Mean Dry Eyes

Summertime creates the perfect storm for dry eyes. You’re either outside in the heat and sun or inside being blasted by air conditioning. Your eyes fall victim to heat, sunshine, dust, allergies, chlorine, dry air, wind, and more. And this is in addition to a primary ongoing cause of dry eyes: screen use.

People in critical lifesaving professions—such as radiologists, telemetry technicians, 911 dispatchers, and those guys who keep the electricity humming—rely on their eyes and their screens year-round. What happens when the symptoms of dry eye, ranging from stinging and burning to light sensitivity and blurred vision, make it hard to work? As Benjamin Franklin noted, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Let’s look at 15 low-tech and high-tech ways to prevent dry eye in the heat of summer.

  1. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunshine, wind, and dust.
  2. Wear goggles in chlorinated pools.
  3. Rinse your eyes when they feel irritated.
  4. Use a warm compress for a few minutes to relax your eyes.
  5. Use OTC eyedrops.
  6. Use a tabletop humidifier.
  7. Stay hydrated.
  8. Try adjusting vents that blast dry air at you.
  9. Consider adding omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D to your diet or supplement regime.
  10. Ask a pharmacist which allergy pills are less likely to cause dry eyes.
  11. Limit screen time after work.
  12. Before every shift, confirm that your screens are positioned properly as follows:
  • Your eyes are viewing the top ¼ of the screen, so you’re gazing down 15° to 20°.
  • The screens are 20” to 40” away from your eyes.
  • When working with multiple monitors, the screens are less than 35° off axis from your predominant line of slight.
  1. Try bias lighting and task lighting if you work in a dim room.
  2. Rest your eyes by looking away from your screens at regular intervals.
  3. Blink. We tend to blink less when we focus more.

If you’ve tried everything and your dry eyes persist, consult a ophthalmologist and/or allergist. If you think screens at work are a primary culprit, let us know! Our ergonomic specialists are always here to help.

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Topics: Employee Health, Ergonomics, Healthcare