Summer Dry Eyes And How To Treat Them

Summer Dry Eyes And How To Treat Them

It is suspected that nearly 90% of Albertans suffer from dry eye symptoms and yet very few Albertans receive treatment.  Dry eye symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to highly painful and people with severe dry eye symptoms may be diagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). Dryness can make the eyes feel scratchy, painful, gritty, or burning, and can result in watery or red eyes and blurred vision. Dry eye symptoms may flare up in summer due to the heat and seasonal irritants that may get in the eyes, but there are ways to manage these dry eye symptoms.

How To Reduce Summer Dry Eye Symptoms

1. Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses help to keep your eyes comfortable during the summer in general, but they can be especially helpful for people with dry eyes. When you wear sunglasses, particularly large or wrap-around sunglasses, you protect your eyes from wind and small particles. Preventing wind from contacting your eyes will help reduce tear evaporation and will help keep the eyes remain adequately lubricated. Preventing particles from getting in the eyes will help to limit the feeling of grittiness in the eyes. This feeling is a symptom of Dry Eye Syndrome, but it can also be from actual particles trapped in the eye that are not being adequately cleared due to a lack of tear production.

2. Use Eye Drops
Many people with dry eye symptoms know how relieving lubricating eye drops can be. If your eyes do not produce enough tears or if the tears are poor quality and quickly evaporate, replacing lost liquid with soothing eye drops can make a huge difference. Eye drops can soothe the dry, burning sensation of DES while also helping to flush out foreign particles in the eye.

3. Drink Water
Staying hydrated inside and out will help reduce dry eyes. While lubricating eye drops are great and should also be used, drinking water will help keep you hydrated from the inside. This is especially important in the summer when you are sweating and can easily become dehydrated. Spending time in the sun can be harsh on your eyes due to the bright light and heat, but it will also drain your body of water. Remember that not all fluids hydrate; beverages with caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you, so try to drink a glass of water for every glass of caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you consume.

4. Wear Goggles
Who doesn’t love to cool off with a swim in the summer? While the water can feel very refreshing, it is not hydrating for your eyes and can actually make dry eye symptoms worse. The chlorine from pool water can irritate the eyes as can the bacteria found in natural bodies of water. Protect your eyes by wearing goggles that seal well. If you swim regularly and wear glasses, consider asking your optometrist about a pair of prescription goggles.

5. Use A Warm Compress
Gently massaging the eyelids and the base of the lash line with a warm cloth can help to loosen debris. A warm compress over the eyes can help to stimulate the oil glands and increase oil production for better quality tears.

6. Visit The Optometrist
An optometrist will be able to assess the severity of your dry eye symptoms and will give recommendations for dry eye relief. Your optometrist may also suggest available treatments. Visiting the optometrist may help you understand the cause of your dry eyes and determine if you have Dry Eye Syndrome.

Visit A Dry Eye Clinic In Calgary

If you have dry eyes, visit Specs in the City for an eye exam with our Calgary optometrists. After examining your eyes, our eye doctors can make treatment recommendations to reduce your dry eye symptoms and help you see more comfortably. At Specs in the City Optometry, our experienced and specialized team can quickly diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome and can work with you to create a treatment plan for this condition as soon as possible. To schedule an eye appointment, contact Specs in the City at 1-403-252-2020 or fill in the online contact form. To learn more about the Specs in the City dry eye clinic, click here.


Q: Can dry eyes lead to other eye conditions?
A: Yes, if untreated Dry Eye Syndrome puts you at risk of developing eye infections as well as damage to the surface of the eye. When you visit a Calgary Optometrist from Specs in the City, they will examine the eye to detect if any damage has occurred.

Q: What causes dry eyes?
A: Dry eyes can be caused by many factors including:

  • Our windy and dry Alberta climate
  • Screen use 
  • Infection 
  • Medication use
  • Diabetes or other underlying medical conditions
  • An imbalance in the composition of your tears
  • Laser eye surgery

Q: Can I still wear contacts if I suffer from dry eye syndrome?
A: Yes, but your eye doctor may require you to switch contact lenses and solutions that will not irritate your eyes while wearing them. You may also be required to wear your eyeglasses more often to prevent possible irritation from occurring with long-term wear of contact lenses.

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