If you spend most of your time in front of a screen, you may be prone to suffering from dry eyes. Dry eyes are a common condition where your tears cannot provide adequate lubrication for your eyes causing uncomfortableness and, in some cases, stinging and burning. This condition can be chronic and progressive, and it may not be completely curable.
How Do I Know If I Have Dry Eyes?
Symptoms of dry eyes include the following:
- A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation,
- ‘Stringy’ mucus in or around your eyes,
- Your eyes are sensitive to light,
- Your eyes are red,
- A sensation of having something ‘stuck’ in your eyes,
- Difficulty driving at night,
- Your eyes are watery,
- Blurred vision, and/or
- Eye fatigue.
If I Have Dry Eyes, How Do I Treat It?
Your optometrist may want to do a comprehensive eye exam, which could include a complete history of your general health and your eye health. They may want to measure the volume of your tear production too, using a test known as the Schirmer Test whereby blotting strips of paper are placed under the lower eyelids. Other tests used include special dyes used in eyedrops to determine your eyes’ surface condition. Your doctor will look for staining patterns on your corneas as well as want to measure how long it takes for your tears to evaporate.
How Do I Prevent Dry Eyes?
If you have experienced dry eyes or you are at risk of having dry eyes, try to find ways to avoid these situations. Here are four easy-to-follow tips to help prevent dry eyes:
1. Position your computer screen below your eye level. With your computer screen above eye level, your eyes will naturally open wider to view the screen. With your computer screen at a lower level, this may help slow the evaporation of your tears every time you blink.
2. Rest your eyes during long tasks. If you sit in front of a computer for most of your day, take regular eye breaks by closing your eyes and blinking repeatedly for a few seconds at a time.
3. Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid air from car heaters, air conditioners or fans blowing air directly into your face. The air experienced at higher altitudes, such as in airplanes, can be extremely dry too. So, take a few minutes to close your eyes to minimize the evaporation of your tears.
4. Consider wearing protective eyewear. Safety shields can be added to the tops and sides of your eyeglasses or sunglasses.
With twenty years’ experience, we believe that it is always important to have your eyes checked every two years, whether you wear glasses or not. Contact us today to schedule your eye examination, and let us help you!