A typical characteristic of Dry Eye is insufficient tears.

Your eyes will feel tired, itchy and it may feel like there’s something in them.

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Anyone can have dry eyes, but it is more common for people who use computers for long periods.

When you blink, a thin film of tears crosses your eye helping to keep your eyes comfortable and healthy. People who use computers for long periods often forget to blink, or blink less often, leading to irritated eyes.

Dry Eye

If you have dry eye syndrome, you don’t have enough of the right kind of tears to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. A drier eye for long periods can result in damage to the surface of your eye.

Many dry eye sufferers are not aware that the condition can be managed with treatments that increase tear production, maintain tear volume or prevent excess loss of tears.

What is the main cause of Dry Eyes?

Dry eye can be caused by either a decrease in tear production or increased evaporation.

Screen time – do you stare at a screen frequently?

Aging – Tear production declines as you age.

Health – certain conditions can affect your ability to produce tears:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Lupus
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitamin A deficiency

Eyelid problems – where the eyelids don’t close the way they are meant to.

Eye surgery – can change the surface of the eye and decrease tear production.

Lifestyle – wearing contact lenses, prolonged exposure to smartphones or computers, reading or driving for a long time and lack of sleep can contribute to dry eyes.

If not treated, dry eyes can cause complications like eye infections or permanent damage to the surface of the eye.

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Treatment

Your optometrist will use E-Eye, an Intense Pulsed Light treatment that generates a pulsed light to stimulate the meibomian glands so they function better.

The treatment involves wearing goggles while flashes are applied under the lower eyelid. It only takes a few minutes. Results are visible a couple of hours after the treatment and the effect is cumulative. It’s best to have all three treatments so that the results remain for months.

Prevention

Simple steps you can take to reduce discomfort:

  • Blink regularly when reading or using your phone and computer.
  • Take regular breaks from reading and screen time.
  • Use a humidifier at home or in your workplace to add moisture to the air.
  • If you wear contact lenses, make sure they are always clean to avoid bacterial buildup.
  • Avoid blowing air directly at your eyes.
  • Apply a warm compress to your eyes.
  • Reduce cigarette smoking.
  • Remove cosmetic products thoroughly.
  • Wear non-toxic cosmetic products.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from the hot or cold wind, dust and other particles.