Bring on the Sun: What the Spring and Summer Months Mean for My Dry Eyes

I live in the South, and as we are entering the spring and summer months, the warm weather days are becoming more commonplace. That is a good thing for my dry eyes. My doctor says that everything tends to slow down over the winter, so he suggests more aggressive treatment during cooler months, including more frequent intense pulsed light treatments for my meibomian gland dysfunction.

Spring vs winter

The past few weekends, as of my writing this, I have worked in the yard, getting my flowerbeds and garden ready for spring. And my eyes have felt incredibly close to normal on those days. One day I went almost all day without having to put in any drops. The humidity seems to bathe my eyes in moisture and open up everything around my eyes.

The sensation is difficult to describe, but I’ll try. Inside the house and during the winter, the area around my eyes feels tight and constricted. When I’m outside in warm weather, the area around my eyes feels looser and more open. It just feels like everything is flowing and functioning as it should be.

With warm weather also comes pollen, though. My car and porch furniture stay covered with this yellow filth during the spring months. And that doesn’t help my dry eyes because my eyes often feel itchy. I no longer take antihistamines because those can be drying. Instead, I take a shower on days that I spend outside, and I use a nose spray to clear my sinuses of dust and debris.

Trying to mow the yard

One of the things that I love to do during the spring and summer is mow my yard. I am a teacher, so I have the summer months off of school. This works out well, as my family and I live out in the country with a huge yard of about 10 acres, about six of which need to be mowed.

However, since I’ve developed dry eyes, mowing has been more difficult for me. Even when I’m wearing glasses, grass and other small particles get in my eye and don’t come out as easily because my tear production is lower now. I have to stop frequently and put drops in my eyes.

For this summer, I purchased some comfortable safety goggles that go over my glasses to prevent debris from getting into my eyes while I am mowing. Hopefully, these will help maintain moisture as well.

Looking forward to summer

Overall, I am excited for what the summer will bring. As of my writing this, I am about a year and a half into having developed chronic dry eyes. Over this past fall and winter, I’ve tried new treatments like intense pulsed light, which I think will be of further benefit now that warm weather is here.

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