You may have dry eye – a common problem experienced by many people.

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Certain professions make dry eye symptoms difficult to avoid.

Vets are constantly exposed to animal hair and allergans.

Surgeons may need to hold their line of sight without blinking.

Working in front of a computer all day, or spending a lot of time looking at a digital screen means you are at increased risk for the onset of dry eye.

If you don’t seek help for your dry eyes you may develop:

  • Eye infections. The lack of tears is what a main problem and as your tears are anti-bacterial any decrease raises the risk of infection
  • Damage to the eye’s surface, including scarring on the surface of the eye or intense inflammation (swelling).

 

Why do computers cause dry eyes?

If you’re like most people, you spend much of your day staring at a computer, tablet, or smartphone both at work and on your own time.

Over 60% of adults use a digital device for at least 5 hours a day.

Large amounts of screen time can cause eye dryness and discomfort because our eyes are being challenged to focus on very close objects for long periods of time.

And you may have significantly more discomfort if you already have an eye issue, such as mild dry eyes or allergies.

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How do computers cause dry eyes?

LOWER BLINK RATE

According to a recent study people blink more than 50% less when using a computer.

On average, people blink only 5 times per minute when looking at a screen, when they usually blink 10-12 times per minute while doing other activities.

Blinking allows tears from our glands to spread across our eye’s surface. Tears are essential for keeping our eyes moist and healthy, so blinking less frequently will cause the eyes to feel dry and irritated.

LACK OF HYDRATION

When we’re focused on a task, it’s easy to overlook some of the other signals our bodies send us such as drinking regularly for hydration. Drink plenty of water while surfing the web to avoid exacerbating dry eye symptoms.

Why do dry eyes cause blurry vision?

When the eyes become dry, most often the very first noticeable sign is blurry vision. This occurs because the tears are unable to adequately coat the surface of the eye, resulting in a rougher surface that disrupts visual comfort and clarity.

How to treat dry eyes

When seeking treatment for dry eyes, it is important to consider two distinct options; prevention and treatment.

You can reduce the likelihood of developing dry eyes through a few simple techniques.

Avoid wind blowing in your eyes.
Air-con, fans, heaters can all direct a stream of drying air to your eyes. Wrap-around glasses and sunglasses can help.

Vision correction.

Check if you need specific glasses when using your digital devices, this may help to prevent dry eyes that result from staring to try and overcome a simple eye correction.

Take a break

Regular breaks when working with computers or other demanding tasks, gives your eyes the chance to rest for a few minutes.

Treatment options

If you’re already suffering from dry eyes there are treatment options that will give you much-needed relief.

Artificial tears that can prescribed (as eye drops) by your optometrist.

Treating Meibomian Glands that are at the base of the eyelashes. These glands release oils that are critical to stop your tears evaporating. If they are blocked the oil can’t be released.

Your optometrist will tailor a treatment plan that may include the use of intense pulsed light treatments to stimulate the glands and provide relief. You may also be treated by Rexon technology that delivers long-term relief to dry eye sufferers. Rexon is non-invasive technology that only needs a few sessions to deliver results, users generally see benefits straight after the first treatment.

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How to Help Your Eyes

Regular eye checks are necessary for understanding how much strain and damage your eyes are sustaining each year.  And when you have your appointment follow the methods recommended by your optometrist to reduce the negative impact of computer screens on your vision.

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