Summertime and Dry Eyes


Whether young or old, everyone gets excited about summertime, during which they find their outlet, destination for travel, and downtime at beaches and parks, where they enjoy the outdoors and the warmth, far from the cold of winter and academic chores. However, dry eyes could spoil all family plans due to the constant burning sensation of the eyes, which makes summer daytime a torment and can ruin the whole holiday.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears; a significant moisturizing factor for the eyes. This may lead to redness, inflammation, and irritation of the eye, accompanied by a constant stinging or burning sensation. This condition may last for long periods unless the patient receives the adequate treatment and care.

DES is caused by a defect in the meibomian glands, caused by blockage of the lacrimal glands in the eyelids. It causes increased sensitivity to light and sun, and increased susceptibility to bacterial or viral infections.

The Difference between Dry Eye and Allergy

The symptoms of allergies are often the same as dry eyes, but the main characteristic of allergies is that they are seasonal and appear after exposure to a stimulant, such as dust, smoke, some odours, or others. They are also accompanied by a strong desire to scratch the eye and nasal congestion, and abound in the spring, when pollen, another eye allergen, spreads in the air. The symptoms of dry eyes are particularly severe in extremely hot summer, especially in low-humidity areas where the climate is dry. It is always preferable to consult an ophthalmologist to accurately determine the type of complaint and, thus, receive the appropriate care.


Despite the severe pain and major complications of dry eyes, it is possible, with some precautions, to protect the eyes from dryness and enjoy the summer without infection. Precautions include wearing sunglasses that cover the entire eye area with a UV reflective feature, to protect you from the Sun; those who wear contact lenses are advised to wear eyeglasses during these times because it is their most convenient and safe option.

Keep your face constantly clean and prevent sweat particles from entering your eyes, as they carry dust and bacteria that can cause infection. It is also recommended to close the eyes when applying sunscreens or spraying them, to avoid getting the cream into the eyes. Using lubricating eye drops (artificial tears) is one of the main ways to keep the eyes from drying out; they are safe, easy to use, and cheap. Doctors recommend using them every three or four hours while spending time outdoors, especially during summer and in low-humidity areas.

Eating foods rich in fatty acids, such as omega-3s—which include linseed oil, soy oil, and fish oil—increase eye hydration. In advanced dry eye cases, doctors may ask to cover the eye to protect it from external influences, and to give the eye an opportunity to regain its moisturizing and infection-protective tears, so it is always preferable to take preventive measures rather than receive treatment.

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