With about 14 to 16 hours of exposure to air-conditioners on a daily basis, eyes can develop issues due to artificial air and temperature changes.
Ophthalmologists say adequate quality and quantity of tears are essential for healthy eyes. The dry eye syndrome is the change in quality or quantity of the three layers of the tear film - Oily (exterior), water/aqueous layer (middle) and protein (inner).
“In an air-conditioned room, especially in very low temperatures, there is loss of humidity, the air becomes extremely dry and cause evaporation from the watery layer of the tear film, causing evaporative dry eyes. Long term exposure can also alter the lipid production from glands in the eyelids, causing both change in quality and quantity of tear film. Without lubrication, eyes are more vulnerable to inflammation and infection leading to worse situations,” said Dr Srinivasan G Rao, regional head of Clinical Services at Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital.
Doctors stress on ensuring the cleanliness of air coolers and air-conditioners to avoid infections as micro infections in the air-conditioners can lead to inflammation of the eyes.