Alert: Sitting too much in air conditioners during summer is harmful, most of its side effects are on the eyes
While air conditioning provides relief from heat during summer, excessive and prolonged exposure to air conditioning, especially when combined with long periods of sitting, can have certain effects on the body, including the eyes. Here are some potential side effects to be aware of:
Dry Eyes: Air conditioning can reduce humidity in the environment, leading to dryness in the eyes. Dry eyes can cause discomfort, irritation, redness, and a gritty sensation. It may be helpful to use artificial tears or a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Eye Strain: When working or spending extended periods in air-conditioned environments, you may be more prone to eye strain. This can result from prolonged focusing on screens, reading, or other visually demanding tasks. Taking regular breaks, practicing the 20-20-20 rule (looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes), and adjusting the screen's brightness and position can help alleviate eye strain.
Allergic Reactions: Air conditioners can circulate and recirculate indoor air, potentially trapping allergens such as dust, pet dander, or pollen. This can trigger allergic reactions, including itchy and watery eyes. Regular cleaning of air filters and maintaining clean indoor environments can help minimize allergen exposure.
Conjunctivitis: In some cases, exposure to air conditioning can lead to dryness or irritation of the eyes, which may increase the risk of developing conjunctivitis (pink eye). Conjunctivitis causes redness, itching, tearing, and discharge. Practicing good hygiene, avoiding touching the eyes, and seeking medical attention if symptoms persist are important.
To mitigate the potential side effects of air conditioning on the eyes:
- Ensure proper ventilation and air circulation in air-conditioned spaces.
- Use a humidifier or place a bowl of water near the air conditioner to add moisture to the air.
- Maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity level in the room.
- Take regular breaks from prolonged screen time or visually demanding tasks.
- Keep the eyes lubricated by using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.
- Practice good eye hygiene, such as avoiding rubbing the eyes with unwashed hands.
- Maintain overall eye health through regular eye examinations with an eye care professional.
It's important to note that individual sensitivity and susceptibility to these effects can vary. If you experience persistent or severe eye discomfort or have concerns about your eye health, it's advisable to consult an eye care professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.