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Does Humidity Cause Dry Eye?

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Posted in Dry Eye, Environmental Dry Eye

Humidity plays a role in the development and management of dry eye syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye include discomfort, redness and sensations of burning. The disease occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. 

Humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air. Generally, in dry environments with low humidity, the moisture in your tears can evaporate more rapidly, exacerbating dry eye symptoms. 

 A recent study followed symptoms of dry eye related to humidity based on living places. This study was specifically completed across 12 different Spanish locations and is the first to outline the impact of climate on dryness symptomatology in Spain. It demonstrated that those who live in locations with a relative humidity below 70% have a higher prevalence of dry eye disease.

How to Increase Humidity 

Managing dry eye in relation to humidity involves a combination of lifestyle changes and palliative treatment at home. Listed below are a few tips to help reduce discomfort: 

1. Use a portable humidifier: In dry environments, using a humidifier can increase the moisture content in the air and help alleviate dry eye symptoms. Place the humidifier in the room where you spend the most time, such as your bedroom or your workplace.

2. Avoid excessive exposure to dry and extreme humid environments: Try to limit your time in environments with extreme humidity levels. This may involve wearing eyewear that retains moisture such as Ziena eyewear or taking breaks and going indoors to rest in a more comfortable setting. 

3. Blinking frequently: When focusing on screens, make a conscious effort to blink more frequently. Blinking helps distribute tears evenly across the surface of the eyes and keeps it moist.

4. Use artificial tears: Preservative-free drops can provide temporary relief for dry eye symptoms. These eye drops mimic the natural tears and can help lubricate the eyes. Here is a list of eye drops that are in the doctor’s cabinet, but always listen to your optometrists recommendations. 

  • Thealoz-duo
  • I-Drop Pur
  • Evolve Daily Intensive

If you would like to read more about the specifics of these drops, you can read our previous blog here.

Want Dry Eye Help?

Humidity can influence dry eye, but other factors such as environmental conditions, underlying health conditions, and lifestyle choices can also contribute to dry eye syndrome. A comprehensive dry eye exam is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. Visit a dry eye doctor near you to get your eyes assessed for the right treatment! 

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