Planning a summer escape? The doctors at Bellaire Family Eye Care have collectively visited Florida (Dr. Voss), The Grand Canyon (Dr. Tucker), Yellowstone National Park (Dr. Moore), and Los Angeles (Dr. Kazmi) this year, alone!
The song goes-“summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” Unfortunately, the dry airplane cabins, change in environment, new climates, and altered sleep schedules that come along with summer travel can contribute to dry eyes. Follow these few steps to stay comfortable and enjoy your hard-earned vacation to the fullest!
The low relative humidity of airplane cabins causes increased evaporation of our tears. Additionally, in-flight entertainment, such as reading a magazine, playing an electronic game, or watching a movie on a close screen reduces average blink-rates and ocular surface moisture levels.
- Before take-off, use a drop of PRESERVATIVE-FREE ARTIFICIAL TEARS in both eyes.
- Stay hydrated- pack a WATER BOTTLE in your carry-on.
- Apply the 20-20-20 RULE – look away from your near point-of-focus every 20 minutes.
New Environment/New Climate
Most of the time when we travel, we tour areas different from our usual routine. Our eyes are sensitive to exposure to new allergens and drier climates.
- Plan ahead, call your hotel and ask for a humidifier to be placed in your room.
- Consult your optometrist regarding options to combat allergy-related ocular symptoms.
- Use a facial mist spray to keep your skin and eyes moist in the moment.
- Pack a Bruder mask (available at our office), or hydrating eye compress, for a nightly treatment.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the elements and sunlight exposure.
Change in Sleep Schedules
I don’t know about you, but there’s no better sleep than the sleep I get in my own bed. It’s hard to get a hotel room feeling just right – they are often too bright, too hot, too humid, too stuffy, or have too much air blowing in your face. Lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can leave our eyes feeling dry and tired.
- Consider a sleep mask– sleep masks block-out light, shelter the eyes from drafts or low-humidity, and often fog up when you sleep, creating a moisture chamber perfect for relieving dry eyes.
These easy tips will surely prevent severe dry eyes, allowing you to have a more enjoyable vacation. Safe travels! Tag us in your photos, we would love to see what you’ve been up to!
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Aamena S. Kazmi, OD
The Dry Eye Doctor at BFEC