Beware! Using heater in winter may cause dry eye disease

Srinagar: Most people expect certain health challenges in winter season, like colds and flu. Sometimes, cold or windy weather and indoor heating may cause people to experience dry eyes more often in the winter months.
The dry eye symptoms can be uncomfortable and can prevent you from participating in activities that you enjoy.
Dr. Shazia Shafi, Senior Eye Consultant, Sharp Sight Eye Hospital says, “Hot air releases from heaters cause dry eyes due to the dry environment they create and the proximity of the blowing air to the eyes. Moreover, the heat leads the tears to evaporate, leaving the eyes unprotected.The hot, dry air from heating vents may irritate your eyes, particularly if you wear contact lenses. To avoid suffering from dry eyes, try not to sit directly in front of a space heater or the heating vents in your home.”
Dr. Shazia adds, you can also redirect the heating vents in your car heaters, so that they aren’t blowing directly on your face.
How does it affect you?
The heaters emit a type of radiation that is much different from the radiation associated with x-ray machines or germicidal light bulbs. Some of the properties of IR radiation (IRR) are similar to the properties of visible light; however, your eyes cannot see IRR. IR heaters will not heat up a room or the air within that room.
Dr. Shazia says, “The IRR mostly passes through the air, not heating the air but will heat other materials such as furniture or your body. This heating, if extreme, can cause fires or dangerous skin burns.”
Apart from the obvious side-effects such as drying out your skin, heaters also burn up oxygen concentration from the surrounding.
Dr. Shazia says,” to prevent constant dry eyes, try to keep artificial heating to minimum, keep the direction of air away from your eyes. Use protective eye glasses if your exposure is high, use lubricating eye drops prescribed by your Ophthalmologist. In case of increase in dry eye symptoms like burning, itching, discomfort, redness or heaviness of eyes it is always better to visit your nearest eye hospital/Ophthalmologist to look for any other causes.”
Your eyes are your most precious asset, your window to the world, help us to help you care for them better!


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