About Biker’s Dry Eye

CHP1The wind in your face. It’s one of the major reasons some ride motorcycles and many bikers are disinclined to do too much to block the wind, beyond wearing eye protection such as sunglasses or face shields, mostly to deflect bugs, dust and flying rocks.

According to water and eye researcher Sharon leyne, even with sunglasses and face shields, motorcycle riding may lead to a condition called “biker’s dry eye” or “motorcycle dry eye.” Sunglasses and face shields may not offer adequate eye protection because other dehydrating factors also play a role. The tear film that covers and protecting our eyes is 98% water.

Winter is the worst season for motorcycle dry eye because colder air is not able to hold as much humidity/water vapor as warmer air. This increases the drying effect. Factors other than wind that can cause dry eye symptoms include: alcohol and drug consumption, many medications, pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, air pollution, extreme heat or cold, high elevation, solar radiation, road glare, low humidity, exhaust fumes and much more. The dehydrating effect of wind on the eyes is heightened when other factors are present, for example, if the rider has recently been drinking beer in a smoke-filled room.

Sharon Kleyne is Founder of Bio Logic Aqua Research, a water and health research and product development center. Kleyne’s recommendations were made in conjunction with. Philip Paden, MD, the Bio Logic Aqua Research Medical Director. He is also a former professional motorcycle racer who has been riding for 40 years and is an authority on motorcycle eye protection and motorcycle dry eye.

Kleyne and Paden offer the following eye care and eye protection suggestions for motorcyclists.

1. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day in addition to all other fluid intake. Lukewarm water is less likely to make you go to the bathroom. 
2. Apply cold, wet eye compresses after riding, to soothe eye irritation and wash out irritants. 
3. Take frequent rests stops in which you close your eyes for a few minutes. 
4. Use both face shields and sunglasses. Road glare and solar radiation are extremely dehydrating and sunglasses help a lot. Face shields, when well designed and worn properly, can trap breath moisture to help keep eyes hydrated. 
5. Avoid cigarette smoke and alcohol. 
6. Take a long, steamy bath on arrival home. 
7. Avoid rubbing the eyes when they are tired or irritated. 
8. Don’t forget to blink while riding. Twenty to 30 blinks a minute is normal but the intense concentration or motorcycle riding can drop this to 3 or 4 times a minute. 
9. Carry an all-natural, pure water eye wash or eye mist.

 

11 Responses to “About Biker’s Dry Eye”


  1. 1 Boomer Jan 16th, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Great advice! Thanks!

  2. 2 Greg Danzig Jan 16th, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Interesting.

  3. 3 mr dick Jan 16th, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Winter is the worst season for dry eye? More like frozen eye, it’s 23 below here right now. One day, when I’m rich , I’m moving to Arizona. FTS.

  4. 4 domino Jan 16th, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    ….. Remember wearing KD’s ???

    ….. Domino Dave …..

  5. 5 Jan 16th, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Avoid alcohol, lets me out. ..Z

  6. 6 Grumbler Jan 17th, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Tons o’ bikers have a lackadaisical ‘tude towards eye protection. Pegging the coolosity index oughta be a low priority if it endangers one’s eyesight.

  7. 7 nicker Jan 17th, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    G…..

    Those in it for the “coolness factor” probably don’t put on enough miles to make a difference……

    -nicker-

  8. 8 badams Jan 18th, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Went Shoei Nanotec with UV retractable sunshield when bit the bullet and bought a new bike (13′ Roadglide) and what a game changer when hiway haulin the roads of SoCal. After 15 years riding chops and panheads with open face helmets, it was time to wise up when going 70mph for hours.

    @ Nicker, you nailed it. I get teased on long rides being call “a hi-tech faggot” on my new bike and full face, overpants and other touring gear from with buddies on chopped pans and shovels wearing open face helmets, 7-11 wrap around shades and Vans skate shoes. “Why are you not riding your pan to be part of the profile?” Well fools……..after 3-4 hours that coolness factor and profiling is gone; their eyes are dry and beet red during fuel stops proving the validity of this post. Well of course one of them cooks up some phantom electrical issue to give themselves enough time to get their second wind to reset the cool factor. Later rinse repeat every 75-100 miles.

  9. 9 Terence Bohler Jan 18th, 2016 at 7:31 am

    I am glad that JeremySumpter is writing this kind of practical advice. Most of today’s bikers don’t know how to prepare for safe and healthy riding. But they will learn, at their expense.

  10. 10 John Koppes Jan 18th, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Liberty Sport Dry Eye Sunglasses are the best thing out there. I wear prescription glasses, like an open face helmet but not wind in my eyes. These glasses are perfect as you can block the wind and debris. I have mine with the transition lenses so i have sunglasses when it is sunny but can go into a restaurant and read the menu. The cost was $180.00 Candian so that means close to free in the USA.

  11. 11 Jan 20th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Smith off-road goggles are great also, even in rain.

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