The Impact of Dry Indoor Air on Eye Health

December 21, 2023
The Impact of Dry Indoor Air on Eye Health

In our latest blog, we delve into the often-overlooked issue of how dry indoor air during Calgary's winter months adversely affects our eye health. This condition, known as dry eye syndrome, manifests as irritation, redness, and discomfort, largely due to the decreased humidity levels in heated indoor environments. We discuss innovative treatments like Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy and Neurolens® glasses, which offer significant relief for persistent symptoms. Additionally, we suggest lifestyle changes like staying hydrated, incorporating omega-3 rich foods into your diet, and using humidifiers to combat dryness. Regular optometrist check-ups are emphasized for comprehensive care. Our aim is to raise awareness and provide solutions for maintaining healthy, comfortable eyes throughout the winter season.

As the frosty winter season envelops Calgary, the warmth of our homes becomes a cozy refuge from the chilly outdoors. However, while we relish this comfort, our eyes often pay a hidden price. The dry indoor air of our heated homes can significantly impact our eye health, a concern that's often overlooked. In this blog, we'll explore how and why this happens, and what we can do to protect our precious sight.

Understanding the Effect of Dry Indoor Air

When the temperature outside drops, we naturally turn up the heat inside. This artificial heating lowers the humidity level in our homes, leading to drier air. It's this dry air that can cause discomfort to our eyes. The moisture level in our eyes is delicately balanced, and when the surrounding air is dry, it can lead to increased evaporation of the tears on the surface of our eyes. This condition, commonly referred to as dry eye syndrome, can result in various symptoms including irritation, redness, a gritty feeling, or even watery eyes as the body tries to compensate for the dryness.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Dry Eyes

The symptoms of dry eyes can range from mild to severe and may include a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, increased eye irritation from smoke or wind, eye fatigue, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and difficulty wearing contact lenses. These symptoms can significantly impact our daily lives, from reading and using computers to simply enjoying outdoor winter activities.

Combating Dry Eyes with Advanced Treatments

While there are numerous over-the-counter solutions and home remedies available, for those suffering from persistent dry eye symptoms, more advanced treatments may be necessary. One such innovative treatment is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy. IPL treatment, typically known for dermatological purposes, has shown promising results in treating dry eyes. The therapy involves applying gentle pulses of light around the eyes, which helps to unclog the oil glands in the eyelids. This process ensures a healthier tear film and reduces the symptoms of dry eyes.

Another groundbreaking solution is Neurolens®, a revolutionary product in the world of optometry. Neurolens® glasses are designed to correct misalignments in your vision which can contribute to eye strain and, subsequently, dry eyes. These lenses are custom-made and tailored to each individual's eyes, offering relief not only from dry eyes but also from associated symptoms like headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and even dizziness.

Lifestyle Adjustments for Healthier Eyes

In addition to these treatments, there are several lifestyle adjustments we can make to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help maintain moisture levels in the eyes. Incorporating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known to improve eye health, can also be beneficial. Furthermore, using a humidifier in your home can help add moisture to the air, reducing the dryness. Simple habits such as taking regular breaks from screen time and ensuring adequate lighting while reading or working can also significantly reduce eye strain.

Emphasizing Eye Health in Our Daily Lives

The importance of regular eye check-ups cannot be overstressed, especially in environments prone to causing dry eyes. An optometrist can provide a comprehensive eye exam, helping to identify any underlying conditions and recommend appropriate treatments, such as IPL therapy or Neurolens®, depending on your specific needs.

The impact of dry indoor air on our eye health is a subtle yet significant aspect of our wellbeing that requires attention and care. As we continue to seek comfort in our warm homes during the cold Calgary winters, let's not forget the health of our eyes. By recognizing the symptoms of dry eyes, exploring advanced treatment options like IPL therapy and Neurolens®, and making conscious lifestyle changes, we can ensure our eyes remain healthy and comfortable. Remember, your eyes are windows to the world; taking care of them should be a priority, not an afterthought. So, let's embrace the winter season with clear vision and comfortable eyes, ensuring that our sight remains as warm and welcoming as our cozy indoor spaces.

Written on behalf of My Optometrist Calgary.]


Q: Are Neurolens® glasses effective for dry eyes?
A: Yes, Neurolens® glasses are effective as they correct vision misalignments that can contribute to eye strain and dry eyes, providing relief from associated symptoms.

Q: How does IPL treatment help with dry eyes?
A: IPL treatment helps by unclogging oil glands in the eyelids, ensuring a healthier tear film and reducing dry eye symptoms.

Q: How often should I visit an optometrist for dry eye issues?
A: It's recommended to visit an optometrist annually for a comprehensive eye exam, or more frequently if you experience persistent dry eye symptoms.

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