Can the Environment Cause Dry Eyes?

You may have noticed that the change of seasons or new surroundings has suddenly worsened your Dry Eye symptoms. This is because your environment can trigger Dry Eye syndrome, with factors like the weather, climate, and air quality all contributing. Let’s explore some of the specific environmental factors to bear in mind when trying to improve your condition. 


Frost on grass

Can the time of year impact dry eyes?

Changes to the air temperature, humidity, and air quality come with the changing seasons. So it’s only natural that throughout certain seasons your eyes may become more irritated and dry. Spring can bring about seasonal allergies such as hay fever when allergens in the air are more prominent. When the pollen count is high, many Dry Eye sufferers will find that their symptoms worsen. However, we’d always recommend speaking to your doctor if this is the case, as often over-the-counter medication such as antihistamines can make Dry Eye symptoms worse as a side effect. 

In addition to this, colder months throughout winter can irritate dry eyes the most when compared to the other seasons. This is because of the cold air outside, combined with indoor heating making a very dry environment. Indoor humidifiers are a good way to try and keep more moisture in your air at home and help to improve your symptoms.[1]


Waterfall surrounded by greenery

What climate is best for dry eyes?

Hot, dry air can cause moisture from your eyes to evaporate quickly, yet as we’ve discussed already, colder weather can trigger dry eye syndrome too.  The key is to find a climate that’s not too hot, or too cold. Many researchers have seen a dip in Dry Eye throughout the summer months due to the humid air and warmer temperatures.[1] Therefore, a warm environment with plenty of moisture and humidity in the air is the ideal climate for Dry Eye sufferers.[2] So pack your bags and book that plane ticket, because now you have the perfect excuse to go on holiday!

The impact of living in the city on dry eyes

While living and working in the city can be fun and energising, it can also take a toll on your eyes. Let’s look at some of the common causes of Dry Eye Syndrome in the city.


London road with busy traffic

Air pollution

Our eyes are exposed to everything in the air surrounding us, whether that’s fresh air from the countryside, smoke from a fire, or pollution from traffic in the city. When exposed to pollution, small particles of dust and smoke can become stuck in your tear film. This means that you’re not able to produce as many tears to keep your eyes lubricated and moist, which often results in dry, irritated eyes. You can help to ease these symptoms by using umbrellas to shield your face against smog and dust, as well as wrap-around sunglasses to stop these things from going in your eyes. [3]


Laptop on a desk, statistics on the screen

Screen time 

When working in cities, it’s often the norm to have a standard 9-5 office job, where you spend most of your day behind a computer screen. In addition to this, many who live in the city rely on public transport such as trains, trams or buses to get to and from work every day. During this commute, the majority of people will be on their phones. Increased screen time can result in a condition called Digital Eye Strain, or Computer Eye Syndrome. It’s a common condition that affects many office workers, yet only 1 in 5 people are aware of having it.[3] Trying to reduce your screen time is the best way to reduce the symptoms of Digital Eye Strain and keep your monitor at eye level when working. 

How to alleviate Dry Eye symptoms

While there is no permanent cure for Dry Eye Syndrome, there are some simple steps you can take to help alleviate your symptoms. 


Orange sliced open

Eat more vitamins

Monitoring your diet and increasing the amount of specific vitamins you eat can be useful in reducing dry eyes. Here is a list of the best vitamins for the eyes. 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin C
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D
  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin [4]

wraparound sunglasses for dry eye laid on a hat

Wear wrap-around sunglasses

Wearing special wrap-around glasses for dry eyes is a great way to ensure your eyes stay protected from harsh winds, cold air, dust, and debris. These glasses also often feature special lenses which act as a barrier between your eyes and the environment – including allergens like pollen. This makes them a great choice for hay fever sufferers, as the condition can make Dry Eye symptoms worse.[5] 


Hands type on a laptop keyboard

Take a break from screen time

As we’ve previously mentioned, screen time is one of the biggest causes of Dry Eye Syndrome. Reducing your screen time where possible will help to relieve your symptoms. Even if you work behind a computer, taking regular breaks from looking at the screen is important. We like to follow the 20/20/20 rule, which is a simple lifestyle change to help remind you to take a break from your screen. The rule is that every 20 minutes, you should look at something which is 20 feet away, for 20 seconds or more. This can be applied when working or watching TV, and numerous studies have found that it’s successful in alleviating Dry Eye symptoms as a result of too much screen time.[6]

For more information on Computer Vision Syndrome, read our blog.


Close up of brown eye

Use VisuXL Gel® 

While these lifestyle changes can help to relieve your symptoms of Dry Eye, the best way to feel fully comfortable is to use over-the-counter medications.  VisuXL Gel® provides 12-hour protection with just one drop and works by increasing the moisture in your eyes to form a protective cushion around them.[7]

To find out more about VisuXL® Gel visit our VISUfarma shop.

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

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  1. Complete Eye Care of Medina, ‘Which season has the greatest impact on dry eyes’. Accessed December 2022.
  2. Seltman, Whitney, ‘Climate, Environment and Dry Eye’ WebMD, 21/06/21. Accessed December 2022.
  3. London Vision Clinic, ‘The effect on your eyes working in the city (London)’ 6/11/15. Accessed December 2022.
  4. Capogna, Laurie, Eye Wellness, ‘The Best Supplements for Dry Eye’ 13/07/21. Accessed December 2022.
  5. Specsavers, ‘Dry Eyes and Glasses Explained’. Accessed December 2022.
  6. Reddy, S. C., Low, C., Lim, Y., Low, L., Mardina, F. and Nursaleha, M. (2013) “Computer vision syndrome: a study of knowledge and practices in university students”, Nepalese Journal of Ophthalmology. Accessed December 2022.
  7. VisuXL Gel Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed December 2022.
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