Health Watch — Spring Break: Dry Airplane Eyes

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about having a safe and healthy spring break. We’ve been cautioning drivers, but people who fly to their destinations may have their own challenges. You may find that your eyes get dry and gritty after you’ve spent time on an airplane.

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say that’s because the low humidity on airplanes makes tears evaporate faster than normal. Even people who don’t usually have dry eyes may find their eyes feeling dry and gritty after a few hours on an airplane. You can ease the discomfort by using moisturizing eye drops throughout the flight. Dr. James McCulley, chairman of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern, says the problem may be even worse for contact lens wearers. He recommends removing lenses during the flight, along with using moisturizing eye drops.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/ophth to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical service in eyes (ophthalmology)


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March 2008

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