It’s hot! As the summer heat rises in Southern California, the air becomes dry, humidity plummets and our sinuses respond. Sore throats and dry, red, itchy eyes abound.
The mucous membrane lining your respiratory tract is a natural barrier to the outside environment. When this membrane gets dried out from a lack of humidity, eyes get sore and tired and your ability to fight a cold virus is diminished.
According to Dr. Robert Ivker, family physician and former president of the American Holistic Medical Association, the optimum humidity levels for sinus health are between 35-45%. As I write this, the recorded humidity for today in Simi Valley is 32%, which would be considered low for summer.
Using a computer in an air-conditioned environment in the summer compounds the problem, as blink rates slow when we focus on a screen. When you blink, you not only give the eye a brief rest, you also coat it with fresh moisture.
Try these yoga eye exercises to relieve dryness and soreness:
- Close your eyes and keeping your head still, make slow circles with your eyes, clockwise and counterclockwise.
- Keeping your head still, but this time with the eyes open, slowly explore your periphery. Look as far left as you can, as far right, as far above you and as far below you as you can.
- Lightly moisten your palms, then rub your hands together vigorously. When your hands are warm, cup them over your eyes. Don’t press on the eye, just let the moisture and warmth provide rest.
During this heat wave, be sure to drink plenty of water. If you are trapped in an office, rest your eyes frequently by looking away from the screen and focusing on a distant object. And don’t forget to blink!
Image credit: Ballookey Klugeypop via Flickr (CC)