Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or when they don’t perform properly. This can create eye strain and visual issues. Climate change affects human health directly and indirectly, both short- and long-term. This article shows how this affects dry eyes syndrome.
High temperatures and eye health
Why does the risk of dry eye increase?
High temperatures can cause dry eye in young people and the elderly. Lack of water, drought in the countryside and riverbeds are evidence of this.
The excessive increase in humidity (during torrential rain or thunderstorms) also alters the tear film (contributing anxiety and stress).
Pollutants and chemicals from factories, waste water, and sewage also harm our eyes. When black and industrial waste aren’t disposed of properly, they overflow, spilling toxins into lakes and the sea. Some of these compounds linger in the air for a long time, creating Urban Eye Allergy Syndrome (increasingly associated with dry eye ).
Higher temperatures, milder winters, and wetter summers enhance tick and lice habitats. Overheating might transmit ticks to higher elevations and further north, impacting deer and roe deer.
What to do to prevent health risks?
Improving our physical fitness with “active transport” (cycling and walking) helps reduce obesity, enhances our cardiovascular functions, and maintains our eyesight.
Dry eyes impair vision.
Changes in tear film thickness and composition cause optical distortions. In dry eye, cold receptors disrupt corneal neurosensory function, causing neuropathic discomfort.
High temperatures and dry air cause dry eyes, but winter significantly exacerbates the problem. In the highlands and other severe climates, cold winds, dry air, and overheated dwellings can harm our eyes.
Adverse weather conditions diminish the aqueous component of the tear film, causing discomfort that causes us to rub our eyes so much that we scratch or damage the cornea. Too “dry” eyes might produce excessive crying to compensate for the lack of a healthy, full tear.
Protect your eyes even in winter
In winter, eyes must be protected. In extreme cold or wind, wear big UV-protected eyewear.
Wide-brimmed hats, “sunglasses,” goggles, or visors are preferable. Wind, UV radiation, and harsh weather damage dry eyes in winter. UV rays injure corneas and retinas.
If we love winter activities, we should use nice ski goggles.
Dry eye sufferers suffer more when fall and winter’s humidity drops. Wind makes eyes drier. The wind irritates dry eyes.
In isolated locations, notably the highlands, a humidifier is beneficial. The humidifier delivers moisture to the air and helps dry eye problems.
If you don’t like water, try herbal drinks or hot water.
Video and sedentary lifestyle
Dry eye is linked to sedentary lifestyle and continuous exposure to video technologies like PCs, tablets, and cellphones.
Risks for video terminal operators
In a recent research of VDU employees, physical activity and sedentary behavior were examined using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Physical activity was estimated in equivalent metabolic equivalents per week (MET, min/week).
Less physical exercise and sedentary habits may cause dry eye syndrome.
Laptops, tablets, e-readers, and cellphones can cause psychological and physiological problems, including dry eyes. Because employees utilize VDUs extensively, DED is common.
Dry eye condition can reduce job performance, hence it should be considered in employee management. Maintaining employee mental wellness is very important in office administration.
VDU users typically complain dry eyes, eye discomfort, and impaired vision. Working with vDU is a key risk factor for dry eye, according to large-scale epidemiological research.
About 12% of VDT employees who work 8 hours a day have dry eye condition. Lower blink rates and higher tear evaporation may cause VDT-related DED.
The IPAQ-J formula measures physical activity during leisure, household work, work, and commuting.
Long periods of sedentary behavior (sitting) are risk factors for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Inactivity and sedentism are harmful to health, thus combating them is a global public health priority.
Long-sitting employees suffer from accommodative asthenopia, back ache, and eye pain. Asthenopia and computer vision syndrome cause DED.
Physical exercise reduces Dry Eye Disease risk.
Physical exercise improves the quality and quantity of the tear film, while sedentary behavior causes chronic illnesses, including systemic inflammation, excess oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation of the ocular surface, lowering mucin expression.
An increase in physical activity is an excellent strategy to prevent and/or cure DED: the more active we are, the better our mental health, and not just because sport is a therapeutic intervention for dry eye sufferers.
Physical activity improves eye health, relieves neck, shoulder, and back pain, and reduces sadness.