There are several factors that aggravate 'Dry Eye Disease' during summers:
1) High ambient temperature leads to quicker evaporation of protective tear film in front of the eye.
2) High wind speed and whirl winds make evaporation faster and throw particles up in the air.
3) High levels of SPM (suspended particulate matter) irritate eyes further.
4)Harvesting season adds to the organic matter in the air, complex particulate aggregates of fungal and bacterial spores, winged and feathered seeds, microscopic mites and their excreta etc add to the load of allergy and physical irritation inducing substances.
General measures to combat aggravated threat:
1) Environmental management is the most effective general measure but also a challenge.
Ambient temperature around 24 degree Celsius and a relative humidity around 62% gives a most comfortable environment to a person.
Air conditioners supply a dry cool air and it needs to be humidified. In case of window units clean condenser tubing with a gentle stream of water daily and keep the base tray full of water in the day time. In case of indoor units keep a flat pan of water in front of the unit. Fine atomiser water spray can also be used periodically to humidify air. Desert coolers offer humidified air as such inherently and are comfortable in dry heat season.
Avoid direct flow of air onto the eyes and face
2) Try to park your cars in shade. Vent out stale warm air in the car by running air con for a few minutes. May use a diluted eau de Cologne spray for instant drop in temperature.
Clean the air con grill and condenser pipes with a gentle stream of water every morning
3) Wear UV absorbing cool shades to reduce glare and aggravation of symptoms of dryness. Wear cotton cap with a hood or a loose wide rim hat to reduce glare
General Medical Measures:
1) Stay indoors in comfortable environment as much as possible. Avoid movement between 12 noon and 4 afternoon when the temperature is peaking.
2) Wear loose cotton rich clothes. Use umbrella to avoid direct heat from Sun
3) Use water soluble sun block creams (water proof creams are a strict NO as they block perspiration)
4) Take plenty of isotonic fluids regularly and always carry a thermos flask with a cool isotonic beverage. Also carry a bottle of clean water for irrigation of eyes in case of an emergency.
5) Increase the frequency of instillation of lubricant eye drops and store them on the doorside of your refrigerators.
Regular and more frequent follow up with your treating doctor is important during Summers.
Always Remember - Safety Saves!