The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Dry eyes, corner to corner

I thought I was already well aware of the role of climate in dry eye, but I have to admit I gained a powerful new appreciation for it on a recent long drive I took. Long as in days, not hours. I drove from Florida to Washington state, where we had decided to move in order to be closer to our extended family.

We sprinted through northern Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, I think a little bit of Iowa if I remember right, southern Illinois, and Missouri - all during that awful 100+ degree heatwave so we had no motivation to do any sightseeing along the way. We finally slowed down in Nebraska, stopped to visit a friend, took a detour up a back road through the sand hills (stunningly beautiful, though we didn't get as far as we wanted due to some wildfires), took a scenic loop through the Badlands of South Dakota, and introduced my 3-year-old to Mount 'Mushmore' and the largest collection of reptiles in the world at the Reptile Gardens nearby. Running short on time, we then got back on the interstate and sped across Wyoming, Montana, the Idaho panhandle and eastern Washington.

I think it was in Tennessee that I broke my Wiley-X wraparound sunglasses. They have always been my favorites for driving - wraparound style and light foam pads give some protection from the air conditioning but with good quality vision - and I hadn't brought any spares, so I drove the rest of the trip with a $10 pair of sunglasses that didn't do a thing. That was a great test of my new sclerals - more on that shortly.

When we stopped in Nebraska, though, I could hardly stand to get out of the car. Between the heat and the wind it was awful. I just can't imagine living there with dry eye - of course not all days are that bad but outdoors activities would be a thing of the past.

On the other hand, since arriving in the Pacific Northwest, what a difference! I don't think my eyes have been this comfortable outside in an awfully long time.
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