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How Air Conditioning Affects Your Eyes

Although air conditioning units provide us with a comfortable environment, they can also dry out our eyes. Air-con units reduce the level of humidity in the air, causing our eyes to feel uncomfortable. 

Our eyes need a certain level of moisture from the air around us to produce tears. By drying out the environment, air-con units interrupt the tear film production. Our tear film carries out a variety of tasks to make sure our eyes function correctly. This includes delivering oxygen to the cornea and providing the front surface of our eyes with lubrication to keep them moist and the structure smooth.  

The lacrimal glands produce a fluid that is replaced about 15 times per minute. It is a mixture of oils and mucous which spreads across our eyes when we blink to protect them from drying out. If you are in an environment where you are particularly close to the conditioned air flow, your tear film can evaporate before it has time to renew. This can lead to symptoms of eye dryness. 

What’s the solution?

There are several measures that you can take to combat how air conditioning affects your eyes:

  • Maintain your fluid intake throughout the day.
  • Try to keep the temperature at a constant and avoid turning the air con unit on and off.
  • Avoid sitting directly under the flow of air coming from the unit.
  • If you have an air conditioning system in your home, ensure that it is well maintained so that bacteria do not develop and spread through the air flow.
  • In the long-term, enjoy a diet rich in fish, fruits and green veggies to keep your eyes healthy. 

For quick and instant relief, lubricating eye drops could be a great choice for replacing lost moisture. For example, the blink® intensive eye drops have been created to rehydrate and relieve eye dryness symptoms. 

blink intensive eye drops

blink® intensive tears eye drops are available in a multi-dose formulation and in handy sized preservative-free vials; perfect for keeping in your bag or drawer at work. They are designed to provide soothing comfort and long-lasting symptomatic relief (1) for eyes that are prone to dry-feeling eyes.  

If you are seeking a more significant form blink intensive plus eye dropsof relief due to persistent feelings of dry eyes, blink® intensive tears PLUS is a liquid gel drop that provides long-lasting comfort (1,2). It is also suitable for both daytime and night-time use.  

Both eyes drops are ideal for office workers affected by air conditioning systems and are designed to mimic your natural tears for optimal comfort (3,4). 

If you regularly experience eye dryness symptoms, it is recommended that you speak to your optician. They will be able to check for any underlying conditions, such as dry eye syndrome, and suggest the best method of management. 

Read and retain the manufacturers’ instruction leaflet for instructions for use and safety information. If you have continued problems, please discuss with your eye care professional.


 1 Wasmanski A D, Kislan T. Crossover Evaluation of Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4% and 0.25% Artificial Tears in Mild Dry Eye Patients; Poster presented at ARVO, 2010. 
Dumbleton K, Woods C, Fonn D. An Investigation of the Efficacy of a Novel Ocular Lubricant. Eye & Contact Lens. 2009;32(3):149-155. 
Laurent TC. Structure of hyaluronic acid. In: EA balazs (ED.) Chemistry and molecular biology of the intercellular matrix. Academic Press, London; 1970: 703-732. 
Aragona P. Long term treatment with sodium hyaluronate-containing artificial tears reduces ocular surface damage in patients with dry eye. Br J Ophthalol. 2002;86:181-184.
© Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, Inc. 2019