Dry eye is described as a condition wherein the eye is unable to produce quality tears to lubricate or nourish the eye. Tears are important since they help promote clear visons, ward off infection, and keep the front surface of the eye clean and moist.
Some of the symptoms of dry eyes are as follows:
- Stinging, burning, or gritty feeling in the eye
- Stringy discharge from the eye
- Light sensitivity
- Redness of the eye
- Eye fatigue
- Excess watering of the eyes, followed by periods of dryness
- Blurry vision, double vision, or vision loss
- Decreased tolerance of activities requiring prolonged periods of visual attention (such as reading or working on the computer)
- Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
Too Much Screen Time Affects Eye Health
Individuals who sit in front of a computer for long hours have a low concentration of mucin 5AC, a component of the eyes’ aqueous mucus layer that helps keep them lubricated.
To maintain mucin 5AC, which is also known as the tear film, a person needs to blink at least 10-15 times per minute. However, focusing on the screen slows down our blinking rate to only about three to four times a minute, thus causing irritation and fatigue.
Here are some of the tips we can follow to improve the health of our eyes and prevent dry eyes.
Drink Enough Water
Drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water every day. Staying hydrated will help promote teas production and relieves dry eyes.
Washing The Eyes
When washing the face, extra TLC is needed especially for those suffering from dry eyes. Lid inflammation can be relieved by cleaning the eyelids and the surrounding area with mild soap or baby shampoo.
For this method, we simply need to close our eyes and gently massage the area with cleansers and then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. Do this before applying a warm compress.
Apply A Warm Compress Twice A Day
Applying a warm compress over the eyes will help open up the oil glands in the eyelids thereby boosting tear quality and relieving some dry eye symptoms caused y common dry eye triggers such as wearing contact lenses and too much screen time.
A person suffering from dry eyes should apply a moist, warm compress on the eyes for 10 minutes at least 2-3 times every day. Make sure that the compress is prepared in an environment that is as clean and sterile.
Blinking regularly is recommended to help with dry eye. Doing this will help renew tear film which is needed to protect and moisturize the eyes. Healthy people blink about 10-15 times a minute and this goes double for those individuals who spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen.
Limit Intake Of Sugary Foods And Drinks
According to studies, consumption of at least 11 teaspoons of sugar (from foods and beverages) per day was associated with dry eye syndrome thus causing the eye to become red, watery, and temporarily have blurred vision.
Experts have found that 50% of people with diabetes have this condition since they tend to have too much unusable glucose in the eyes.
Consumption of lots of fresh leafy green veggies can help relieve dry eyes since they can increase the body’s intake of beneficial antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin. Some foods that benefit the eye include grapefruits, blueberries, Brussel sprouts, carrots, lemon, broccoli, oranges, and sweet potatoes.
Eat Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Studies suggest that the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can help provide some natural approach to dry eye relief. They can help improve tear secretion without affecting tear film stability.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, trout, and mackerel).
Position The Monitor Properly
For those working at a desktop computer, it is recommended to lower the computer monitor so that you can gaze slightly downward. The eyes don’t have to open as wide, which may lessen the dryness.