Dry Eye Feb Feature

A growing number of jobs require hours in front of a computer.  Time spent not at work increasingly is in front of screens – either on the phone, or watching streaming programs, YouTube videos, TikTok and Instagram.

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The negative effects of screen time

Now we are back at work, the effects from increased screen time can be felt in eye strain and dry eye syndrome.

Excess screen use can result in:
1. eye strain:
The brightness of the display, coupled with glare, can overtax already tired eyes.

2. Muscle aches:
Sitting in front of a computer or looking down at your phone or laptop can put a significant strain on your neck, back and shoulder muscles. When you hold these positions for long periods of time, you get stiff and may experience pain.

3. Dry eye:
A typical characteristic of Dry Eye is insufficient tears. Your eyes feel tired, itchy and it may feel like there’s something in them.  Anyone can have dry eyes, but it is more common for people who use computers or stare at screens for long periods.

The Bigger The Phone Or Tablet, The Less Eye Discomfort!

A recent study found that the size of the screen you use matters and using a larger font can also reduce eye discomfort!

This is an interesting finding that may help those who work out in the field with phones or tablets – the same study also found that the continued use of smartphones reduces blinking, which causes eye dryness.

The way we view smartphones and tablets and the patterns of usage is different to computers. We view smart phones much closer than computers, which increases the strain on our eyes.

Tablets better than phones for eye discomfort

The researchers were looking to see if the size of a smart device screen affects the user’s eye strain.

What they found was that the smaller the display, the greater the discomfort and the less time it took to feel discomfort. They found that discomfort started within 20 minutes of use!

If you have a choice between using a smartphone or a tablet, choose a tablet when reading articles or watching movies; or when you are trying to do something that takes an extended period of time.

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What are computer glasses?

Computer glasses come with many different lens features by reducing eye fatigue and keeping screen glare to a minimum.

The glasses have an anti-reflective coating plus a different strength so your eyes can focus optimally for working on your computer.  This can be combined with your current prescription as progressive lenses.

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How do you provide relief for dry eye symptoms?

Some people try to treat their dry eye with over-the-counter drops - without success.

The best solution is to make an appointment with your optometrist who will assess your condition.

One of the technologies that your optometrist can use is E-Eye, an Intense Pulsed Light treatment that stimulates the glands in your eye so they function better.

The treatment involves wearing goggles while flashes are applied for 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.