How do patio heaters affect your eyes?

Thursday, 15 April 2021 by Vision Direct

Patio heater in low-lit restaurant

Spring is here, lockdown is lifting and we can finally meet up with our friends and family - hooray! But given the unpredictability of the UK's climate, socialising outside during this time of year is, undoubtedly, going to be a little chilly. Luckily, this is where trusty patio heaters come into play.

Although outdoor heaters provide toasty relief in beer gardens, restaurants and beyond, they can also cause your eyes to dry out in flash, especially if you're a contact lens wearer. But fear not! Our team has put together some piping-hot pointers to help you embrace alfresco entertainment with comfortable, healthy vision.

Patio heater on a sidewalk outside a bar

Patio heaters and dry eyes

Like with any other source of heat (the sun or a bonfire), the more time we spend directly exposed to it, the more parched our peepers are likely to feel. Plus, when breezy weather and high pollen levels are thrown into the mix, revelling in the warmth of a heater outside can cause our eyes to dry out faster.

For contact lens wearers, this experience can be extra-uncomfortable, as exposure to constant heat or hot air absorbs the moisture around your lenses, making your eyes feel itchy and irritated. We know what you're thinking and let us stop you right there: it's impossible for your lenses to melt (that's just a myth!). There are some easy-peasy ways to avoid any of this discomfort, so you can continue to sip on your tipple, problem-free.

How to combat dry eyes from patio heaters

  • Go for eye drops: A go-to method for seeking speedy relief from dry and uncomfy peepers, eye drops are excellent to have in your bag at all times. You can't go wrong with everclear Eye Drops, featuring a gentle-yet-effective formula, perfect for sensitive eyes.
  • Avoid direct exposure: Yes, we know, it's really tempting to get as close to that glowing ember of warmth as possible, but it's not worth it for your eyes. Opt for a warm jacket, sit at a safe distance from the outdoor heater and avoid facing it directly to minimise symptoms of dryness.
  • Drink more water: It may seem simple (and boring!), but constant hydration is key to keeping your eyes moisturised. Try maintaining your water intake in between those G&Ts.
  • Food for your eyes: Eating healthily is just as important for your eyes, as it is for your body. Plus, incorporating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, nuts and seeds, can increase your overall tear production, too.
  • Switch to dailies: If you're prone to dry eyes and enjoy wearing your glasses sometimes, then daily disposable lenses are a no-brainer! These ultra-comfy, breathable and hygienic lenses require no complex cleaning routine, and you can pop in a fresh, new pair whenever you want without any waste. Our in-house opticians recommend everclear ELITE contact lenses, which retain water and ensure your eyes look and feel fresh throughout the day.
  • Don't rub your eyes: Although it might feel like the right thing to do - always avoid rubbing your eyes, especially if you're a contact lens wearer. The last thing you want is for bacteria from your fingers to get into your eye, as this can increase your chances of developing a nasty eye condition like conjunctivitis.
Bottle of everclear eye drops

Try everclear Eye Drops

Featuring a natural formula of herbal ingredients, everclear Eye Drops provide instant and long-lasting relief for dry eyes, ideal if you've been spending time outside or near a heater. Each conveniently-sized 10ml bottle, perfect for popping into a pocket or purse, provides speedy refreshment whether you're wearing your contact lenses or not. Plus, these eye drops work wonders for rewetting contact lenses of all types, providing lubrication and upping the levels of comfort. An in-built dispenser makes it super-easy to apply drops into each eye wherever you are.

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