Let's start off with the 1st thing I thought when I moved from Kansas to Katy (Houston area) holy cow the sun is bright here. I wasn't wrong looking at UV index data here in Katy, Fulsher area is significantly higher than the rest of the nation and a lot higher than Kansas.
What does that mean for your eyes? What does UV damage do to your eyes? It can cause early cataracts, macular degeneration, cancer in the eye, and also skin cancer. Which skin cancer around the eyelid is 5% to 10% of all skin cancers. UV damage of course can cause cosmetic problems around the eyes like wrinkles and thinning of the skin.
The other thing is air quality which actually got better in the last 20 years, back in 2000 Houston used to have the worst air quality (smog) in the nation. Then towards the end of the year, Los Angles beat Houston for having the most smog and today Houston is 244th out of 1517th of the city measured. Which isn't great but a lot better than it use to be. At Eyecare Redefined we try to continue to decrease our environmental impact in a multitude of ways (look at eyeglasses and contact lens page for more info). That being said the air quality is still bad can affect your eyes and cause more dry eye-related that being said the humidity in the area is so high that this problem kinda cancels out except for when we have these colder winters like we had the last couple of winters. When it gets cold out we turn on heaters and we dry out the air and then these dry eye problems can occur. I don't know about you but part of the reason I moved to Houston was to get away from the cold! Another thing is that smog has been linked to an increased risk of glaucoma. Glaucoma kind of scary disease in that it won't notice problems with vision until it is way too late, which is another great reason to get the eyes checked on a regular basis. If you catch glaucoma early enough and you follow the treatment it is a disease that can never affect your vision.
The last environmental factor in Houston is allergies. The tree pollen in this area is crazy! Looking at the allergy data tree pollen is a problem 9 months out of the year. The reason is the same reason why I moved here to get out of the cold. Due to short light winters here the tree pollen season is 9 months of the year. With 81% of adults having pollen allergies that are a lot of people have allergies almost year-round. Allergies can affect the eyes just like how they can affect the rest of the body.