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How to Cope with Dry Eye in Summer

Does your Dry Eye feel worse in summer? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people are aware of the risk of dry eyes in winter, due to the harsh, cold weather conditions. Whilst Dry Eye Syndrome is usually worse for patients in winter and spring, it can also be triggered by warm, dry weather in the summer months. [1]

In this article, our Dry Eye expert covers the causes of that itchy feeling in the summer months and lists seven tips to avoid dry, sore, itchy eyes.

Can Dry Eye be worse in the summer?

Dry eyes can often feel worse in summer, as warm weather can cause the tear film to evaporate from your eyes. [2] While the air is more humid which can provide relief to some of the symptoms and you’re less likely to spend days staring at screens, summertime activities like swimming can actually aggravate the condition.

Here are some of the causes of dry eyes in summer:


Blue Sky


Dry air

Dry air means dry eyes! In summer, researchers actually see a dip in Dry Eye cases in America. This is due to increased humidity, which adds moisture into the air. [3] However, this isn’t the case in many other places.


Sunset in a Field


The sun

The summer sun can feel lovely, but can also be very harmful. UV rays can cause the moisture in your eyes to evaporate, making your eyes very dry. [2]


Air Conditioning with Remote


Air conditioning

Although not regularly seen across the UK, an air-conditioned room is common part of any hot holiday. Air conditioning reduces the amount of humidity and moisture in the air, which can dry out your eyes. The cold temperatures can also reduce the ability of meibomian glands to secrete oils that prevent tears from evaporating. [2]


Woman with dry eye or hayfever blows her nose in a field



Hay fever season runs between late March and September, which crosses over the summer months. [4] Many people who suffer from Dry Eye also suffer from allergies, so hay fever season can be a tough time. [1]

Find out more about Dry Eye and hay fever here: How Does Hayfever Season Affect Dry Eye Sufferers?


Water Bottle sits in the foreground as a woman ties her trainers in the background



Do you drink enough liquids in summer? It can be easy to forget to drink enough in summer, which can lead to dehydration. When we’re dehydrated, our body prioritises using water for important factors like brain function. This means that our dry eyes can get left behind, unable to make enough healthy tears. [2]


Hand with Barbeque Tongs Over Barbeque


Summer isn’t complete without a barbeque gathering! However, if you have dry eyes, you should avoid being the one on the grill. If you get smoke in your eyes, it can make them red, and cause itching and burning sensations. [5]


Hat and Legs of Woman in Pool

Swimming pools

The best way to cool down after a hot summer day is in a cold pool! Whether you’re on holiday or in the garden, relaxing in the cold water is much-needed. But, the chlorine in pools can actually wash away your tear film, increasing Dry Eye symptoms. [6]


Friends cheers with drinks in the summer



Did you know that more people drink alcohol in summer? According to a study published in the Journals of Studies on Alcohol, summer and Christmas are the most popular times to drink alcohol. [7] With many people going on all-inclusive holidays and a higher number of people socialising, this isn’t surprising. Alcohol should be approached with caution, though, as it makes it harder for the body to produce enough tears to hydrate your eyes. [8]

You can find out more about the effect of alcohol on dry eyes in our blog: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?


How can you get rid of Dry Eye Syndrome in the summer?

Are you wondering how to keep your eyes cool in summer? Follow these tips to help!


Man with dry eye wears sunglasses and drinks water outside


1. Stay hydrated

Eyes become dry when they are dehydrated, just like the rest of the body. In summer, when the weather is warmer, we need to drink more liquids – especially when we exercise. Researchers state that this is because our body tries to cool itself down by sweating, so water is lost. [9]

If you’re suffering from dry, itchy eyes, experts recommend drinking between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day to prevent flare-ups during warmer weather. [10]


A couple wears wrap around sunglasses to fight dry eye and sport bike gear


2. Wear wraparound glasses to combat Dry Eye

Wearing sunglasses when out and about helps to protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and dirt. Wraparound sunglasses for dry eyes are ideal to protect them from the elements in summer. Make sure the sunglasses have at least 98% UV protection to keep your eyes from feeling sore and itchy when you’re outside. [11]


Woman with Eye Mask in Bed


3. Use a heated compress at night

If you are suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye, or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, a heated compress, such as MeiboPatch®, will be ideal for unblocking your meibomian glands and help minimise dry eyes at night. [12]

Browse our MeiboPatch® solution here: MeiboPatch®


Woman in Pool with Goggles


4. Always wear goggles when swimming

Wherever you are this summer, your well-deserved break will hopefully include a relaxing swim in the pool or the sea.
If you submerge your head underwater whilst swimming, it’s important to always wear goggles. The chlorine in swimming pools and the salt in seawater can irritate the eyes, causing existing Dry Eye symptoms to worsen. [13]


A pile of fruit that can help provide the vitamins that soothe dry eye


5. Take vitamins

There are certain vitamins and minerals that boost eye health, which can help if you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome.
Adding vitamins which boost eye health into your diet, combined with a regular treatment plan, can reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life. With many fresh fruit and vegetables in season, summer is the perfect time to try and eat more foods which are rich in Vitamin C, E and D. [14]

Read more about vitamins for dry eyes here: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes


A humidifier works in a white room with plants in the background


6. Put a humidifier in your home to ease Dry Eye

If you suffer from itchy, red, sore or watery eyes, getting a humidifier is a great idea to ease your symptoms. A humidifier helps combat the warm, dry heat of summer months to lubricate your eyes.

If you struggle with night-time dry eyes in the summer, putting the humidifier in your bedroom can help relieve symptoms. [15]

For more lifestyle changes you can make, visit this blog: 6 Lifestyle Tips to Help Dry Eye


Woman Using Eye Drops to fight dry eye


7. Use eye drops for dry eye

If you’re planning on taking a trip, don’t leave without your eye drops, as an uncomfortable flare-up could ruin your holiday.

Use long lasting eye drops for dry eyes, like VisuXL® eye drops can help provide relief for irritating symptoms such as dry, itchy, red, sore or watery eyes. VisuXL® eye drops in particular can help to provide more symptomatic relief than a standard eye drop can provide.

Other eye drops on the market are linear Hyaluronic Acid drops, whereas VisuXL® is a patented formula. In VisuXL® eye drops, Hyaluronic Acid is crossed-linked so that it doesn’t wash away easily when blinking. Instead, it remains on the eye for longer. It also forms a net on the surface of the eye, to help the second key ingredient, CoQ10, to repair damaged cells. [16]

Hopefully, these top tips will help you to get outside and enjoy the sunshine this summer, without having to worry about dry eyes.

Get prepared for Dry Eye and summer with our VisuXL® Eye Drops, which you can browse here: VisuXL® Eye Drops


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. Kumar, N., Feuer, W., Lanza, N. L., & Galor, ‘A, Seasonal Variation in Dry Eye’, Ophthalmology, 122(8), pp. 1727-1729, 01/08/16. Accessed May 2022.
  2. East Main Vision Clinic, ‘Why is Dry Eye Worse in Summer?’, 22/07/20. Accessed February 2023.
  3. Complete Eye Care of Medina. ‘Which Season Has The Greatest Impact On Dry Eyes?’. Accessed December 2022.
  4. NHS England. ‘Hay fever’, 04/02/21. Accessed December 2022.
  5. Dr. Aizman Empire Retina Consultants. ‘The Effects That Smoke Can Have On Your Eyes’. Accessed February 2023.
  6. Nicole Holliman. ‘Managing Dry Eyes During Summer Months’, WebMd, 11/05/22. Accessed February 2023.
  7. D G Uitenbroek. ‘Seasonal variation in alcohol use’, National Library of Medicine, 1996 Jan;57(1):47-52. Accessed February 2023.
  8. You, Young-Sheng, Qu, Nai-Bin, Yu, Xiao-Ning, ‘Alcohol consumption and dry eye syndrome: a Meta-analysis’, International Journal of Ophthalmology, 2016; 9(10): 1487–1492. Accessed December 2021.
  9. Krempa, F. ‘Experts Say You Should Drink This Much More Water Per Day When It’s Hot Outside’, 05/07/21. Accessed February 2023.
  10. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes’. Accessed Sep 2021.
  11. Theriot, P, ‘The Best Sunglasses for Dry Eye Sufferers’. Accessed May 2022.
  12. MeiboPatch® Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed May 2022.
  13. Specsavers Opticas, ‘Expat vision care: Can sea and sun exposure cause dry eyes?’, Specsavers Opticas. Accessed May 2022.
  14. Meixner, M, ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, Healthline, 25/07/18. Accessed January 2022.
  15. Higuera, V, ‘Creating a Healthy Morning and Night-time Routine for Chronic Dry Eyes’, Healthline. Accessed May 2022.
  16. VisuXL® Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed May 2022.
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