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  • Eyes okay outdoors (even in brisk wind) not good indoors or in auto

    Does anyone else here observe this phenomenon with their dry eye symptoms?

    When I am outdoors (rural New York) my eyes feel fine, even if there is quite a brisk wind. The temperature when this occurs has been between 40-75 Fahrenheit. But when I am indoors or in an automobile my dry eye symptoms (burning, something in the eye feeling, and grittiness) return.

    Do others observe this? My sense is that the wind should make my eyes even worse, but it doesn't. In fact, the cool fresh air feels good on my eyes. Can anybody here shed any light on this. I'm thinking that an explanation of this may have something to do with the real reason behind my "dry eyes". Thank you.

  • #2
    Yes Warren, I have noticed exactly the same thing and wondered why. I walk every morning, and feel pretty good outside. I am in suburban CA.

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    • #3
      I have the same thing. I thought too, that it would give me a clue to the cause of my eye problems but so far I have not figured it out. Wind does not bother my eyes either. I am not allergic to anything in my house. It is a mystery.

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      • #4
        I have noticed this recently, and have deduced that the above 3 forum users maybe have 'moderate' dry eye levels. Severe dry eye sufferers and you will struggle both indoors and out. I used to struggle with both indoors and outdoors this time last year; but am now ok outdoors, but indoors, forced heat is still aggrivating my eyes.
        Dont worry about symptoms getting worse, because your dry eye levels could get better, worse or pretty much stay the same?.
        Cast your mind back, and 'healthy eyes' would tear in a brisk wind anyway, the wind dries anybody out, so the brain tells the eys to tear-up in responce.
        Maybe you are still producing some tears, just not quite enough though.

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        • #5
          Thank to LaDiva, Magoo, and Colin for the responses, some more explanation

          Thank you all for responding. When I said brisk wind I didn't mean wind that blows your hat off your head or inverts your umbrella, but a wind stronger than forced air in most homes and public buildings. So, Colin, I may have mislead you, I wasn't talking about a wind that would force my eyes to tear up.

          The thing is, after I go outdoors and then come back in, my eyes feel pretty close to normal for 30 minutes to 1 hour before the grittiness returns. I can't help but feel this is telling me something, but I'm unable to draw any reasonable conclusions yet.

          Thanks again for your responses! Best wishes to you all.

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          • #6
            Generally outside air is naturally humid, with at least some degree of moisture in it. I have a weather station in my garden (sad but true!) and most days the humidity is over 50%, even on hotter days. Okay I do live in the UK, but the east coast is actually quite dry. This is why a humidifier can make your eyes slightly more comfortable as it aims to get the humidity up. I must admit I do experience grittiness even with the humidifier but I dare not go without it and my eyes are apparently in the severe catergory these days. I have a little trick, when driving I place a plastice container of water in the passenger seat foot well and have the heater on low. I drill out loads of holes in a lid and I fancy that it does take the edge of it!
            I have started placing soaked cotton wool pads in my tranquileye goggles which I have never really taken to but decided to keep on going with them. I sleep with this humid enviroment over my eyes but not touching them and I am wondering if in the long run this will help too. Try humidifying and see if it gives you longer relief.
            Good luck now.
            Lulu

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            • #7
              Lulu, I wish it was more humid outside. I live "on the edge of the desert" and the humidity outside today is between 3 and 9% !! And yet when I took my walk, even though there is quite a breeze today, my eyes felt a bit better by the time I got back home. My eyes are not extremely dry, but dry with fast TBUT. I think it's more that my tears are toxic to my eyes. Tear film not balanced. Mystery continues and I continue seeking answers
              Last edited by magoo; 07-Apr-2012, 15:47. Reason: add info

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              • #8
                Lulu! you need to move over here to the North West coast. Humidity is rarely lower than 90% according to Sky news weather(website).
                Yes Greater Manchester is renowned for being overcast, but heck i aint complainin!!..
                However..... Warm air carries more moisture(in the winter you can see your breath, thats you adding moisture to dry air!) so it gets a bit complicated with relative humidity etc. I find i'm good in the occasional glorious sunshine days, and even better when a storm is brewing after a hot sunny day.
                Did you know you can but, small portable(that plug in your car cigarette lighter) Humidifiers.
                You can even buy battery operated ones that hang round your neck and add moisture in an upward direction towards the face; for use on aeroplanes.

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                • #9
                  A followup - 19% humidity and breezy, my eyes are fine! What is going on?

                  Thanks to everyone for continuing this thread. I wanted to add another bit of information. I was working outdoors today for at least three hours. It was refreshingly breezy, about 68 Fahrenheit, and 19% humidity. My eyes had no problems. I don't understand this. I thought this would surely be detrimental to a tear film. Does this suggest my "dry eye" problem is not a faulty tear film but something else? This is all so puzzling, as you "old-timers" on this site already know. Thanks Lulu and Colin for suggestions to make my indoor and auto environment more humid. I will try them.

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                  • #10
                    I would like to add to this interesting discussion: (I am from Calgary, the dry eye capital)

                    1. Outdoor walking (brisk wind) - eyes feel fine
                    2. Outdoor walking (cold strong winds) - eyes become dry.
                    3. Inside cars (even when I close the vents) - eyes burning and irritating esp. in the evenings
                    4. Inside home - cooking is the best time for me now. When the steam comes up from the pots, my eyes feel really good.
                    5. Inside home - when I'm just sitting there and not doing anything, eyes feel dry. I feel that activity somehow helps with my eyes.

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                    • #11
                      1= Walking, gets endorphins flowing, youre feeling as good as you can expect to be?.
                      2= That is maybe your tear film limit? ok in brisk wind, not quite good enough in strong wind, the nerves on your eye surface are getting hit that bit harder by the stronger of the two winds?.
                      3= outside(scenery) flashing past, unavoidable eye tasks.
                      4= I agree with that one!.
                      5= Sitting still focusing on symptoms, activity, taking your concentration off slightly? i find that if a freind/guest comes round a right good chat also takes your mind off worrying.

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                      • #12
                        And check-out my location for humidity! www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2655237 If only we had the heat to go with it, as warm air carries more moisture...

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                        • #13
                          Hi Colin.

                          Sorry when I said "inside car", I was driving

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                          • #14
                            Magoo
                            Gosh thats awful dry, I often wondered how peeps got on in some states of US! Such an incredible variance, I guess the large land mass.
                            Thanks Colin for suggestion, I have tried one of those before, I think about 3 or 4 years ago? Dont think I fancy your location, sorry, but I have always felt rather cold "north of the border". We have easterly winds here, a bit of a bind but warmer than the North.
                            Happy Easter
                            Lulu

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                            • #15
                              For me, the simple answer is: The environment outside is much cleaner and the breezes keep it cleaner.

                              And by “clean,” I mean clean from any environmental triggers that cause ocular inflammation.

                              When members here state, “I know I am not allergic to anything in my house,” I want to state, “Are you really sure about that?” Because sensitivities, allergic and inflammatory reactions of the eyes are almost always caused by contact allergens or irritants, not typical allergens.

                              In order to state with certainty that nothing in your home is triggering ocular inflammation, you would have to take a sample of absolutely EVERYTHING in your home and place that sample on your skin under a patch for several days to be sure that you don’t have a reaction to it. That means all your clothing, jewelry, hair care and beauty products, soaps, lotions, air fresheners, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, pillows, furniture, cleaning products, carpets, etc., etc., etc.

                              Most allergists test for airborne allergens that trigger systemic allergic reactions. Eye and skin “allergies” (I prefer to use the term inflammatory reactions) are contact allergies—meaning the reaction is on the surface (of your skin or eyes) and the inflammatory reaction can be immediate or up to several days after exposure. Most patch testing to determine contact allergies is done by dermatologists, not allergists.

                              Back before I learned that so many of my hair care products, lotions, cleaning solutions, soaps and other products were triggering ocular inflammation, my eyes did feel better outside. Chemicals and fragrances are trapped in the air indoors, causing repeat and consistent exposure. Outside, the air is fresh, probably diluting the extent of exposure to our eyes by the offending substances. Add a nice breeze and the offending chemical or fragrance is blown away from our eyes.

                              Check your environment. Try to find out if any products you are using could be triggering inflammation. Remember, the most common contact irritants are fragrances. Pretty much everything we use has a fragrance added. Even the products that are labeled “non-allergenic” often have fragrances added and don’t really have to prove that the claim of “non-allergenic” is true.

                              Just my two cents . . .

                              Scout

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