Health Watch - Travel: Dry Eyes in the Air

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about making travel safer and healthier. Previously, we discussed being rested before you drive. If you’re taking to the air, you may be in for some discomfort, especially if you have dry eyes.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that tears evaporate more rapidly in the low-humidity environment of an airplane cabin. The problem is worse in longer flights, and it can affect even people who don’t normally have dry eyes. Similar problems can happen in really dry climates. To avoid the discomfort of dry eyes while flying, use over-the-counter moisturizing eye drops before boarding the plane and then regularly throughout the flight. Dr. James McCulley, chairman of ophthalmology at
UT Southwestern, says the problem can be even worse for contact lens wearers. He recommends removing lenses while in flight or in a dry climate.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in eyes.


July 2009

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