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7 Tips to Avoid Dry Eye for Screen Users

Nowadays, we are all spending more time looking at our screens. In 2020, screen use increased due to the pandemic. UK citizens spent on average 3 hours 37 minutes a day on smartphones, tablets and computers, and 1 hour 21 minutes a day watching online services such as Netflix. 1

 

Of course, for those of us who work online, these statistics are even higher. As of July this year, roughly 50% of 30-49 year olds were still partially working from home.2  For a lot of people, spending 8-9 hours on screens at work, followed by an evening of television is completely normal. This pattern, however, can have a negative effect on our eyes. 

 

How does this cause Dry Eye Syndrome?

 

Our eyes need to stay moist to be healthy. One of the ways we naturally do this is through blinking. With every blink a smooth, moist layer covers our eye ball, known as the tear film. 3

 

When we stare at digital devices, we blink less often. Therefore, the longer we spend looking at screens, the dryer our eyes become.

 

A recent study of Japanese workers even goes as far as to suggest that working on screens for an extended period of time can change the composition of your tears, making you more prone to Dry Eye symptoms. 4

 

Who is affected?

 

Anyone can experience symptoms of Dry Eye due to screen use, and should seek to ease their symptoms through lifestyle changes and using eye drops.

 

Mature adults, exisiting Dry Eye pateitns, or individuals who drink or smoke are more likely to experience Dry Eye symptoms as a result of screen use.

 

What you can do

 

Ultimately, the best thing to do is to reduce your screen time. In today’s age, however, that’s not so simple. Here are some easy tips to ease your Dry Eye symptoms.

 

  1. Follow the 20:20:20 rule

 

Every 20 minutes, try to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 20 seconds is long enough for your eyes to fully relax, so doing this frequently when you are looking at your screen is a great way to keep your eyes in a healthy condition. 5

 

     2. Adjust your monitor

 

If you are using a monitor, try putting it directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away, just below eye level. This way the eyes can see the screen without being overly strained. 6

 

      3. Make the text bigger

 

Making the text bigger on your phone, laptop or tablet makes it easier to see, reducing the likelihood of Dry Eye symptoms developing. 7

 

      4. Find the right lighting

 

Bright lights that reflect back into your eyes can often make screen associated Dry Eye much worse. Softer background lighting is better for your eyes, and also creates a calm environment. 8

 

     5. Use a humidifier

 

This is a great tip, especially for people who work from home. A humidifier adds moisture to the air in the room, helping to keep your eyes hydrated whilst you work. 9

 

       6. Use an app

 

This is a useful way to limit screen use in your downtime as well as work time. Software like f.lux automatically adjusts the brightness and tone of your screen to protect your eyes. And apps like Time Out remind you to take regular breaks from your device. 10

 

       7. Use a lubricating eye drop

 

Lubricating eye drops can provide relief from Dry Eye symptoms caused by screen use. By incorporating VisuXLGel into your morning routine, you can help your eyes stay hydrated for a full 12 hours, thanks to its smart gel technology. 11 12

 

To find an eye drop that suits you and your lifestyle, visit the VISUfarma Website.

 

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References

 

  1. Ofcom, Online National 2021 Report, 09/06/21, https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/220414/online-nation-2021-report.pdf
  2. D.Clark, ‘Share of people working from home due to Coronavirus in Great Britain 2021, by age’, Statista, 27/07/21, Accessed Oct 2021: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1207789/coronavirus-working-from-home-in-britain-by-age/
  3. Wheeler, Regina Boyle. ‘Dry Eye and Screen Use’, WebMD, 21/06/21, Accessed Oct 2021: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/dry-eye-screen-use
  4. Uchino, Yuichi., Uchino, Miki., Yokoi, Norihiko, et al. ‘Alteration of Tear Mucin 5AC in Office Workers Using Visual Display Terminals’ JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(8):985-992.
  5. Marcin, Ashley. ‘How Does the 20-20-20 Rule Prevent Eye Strain?’, Healthline, 03/02/17. Accessed Oct 2021: https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/20-20-20-rule
  6. Mayo Clinic, ‘Eyestain’, 28/08/20. Accessed Oct 2021: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eyestrain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372403
  7. Wheeler, Regina Boyle. ‘Dry Eye and Screen Use’, WebMD, 21/06/21, Accessed Oct 2021.
  8. Watson, Stephanie. ‘What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?’, WebMD, 
  9. Wheeler, Regina Boyle. ‘Dry Eye and Screen Use’, WebMD, 21/06/21, Accessed Oct 2021
  10. Nall, Rachel. ‘Steps for Computer Eyestrain Relief for People with Chronic Dry Eye’, Healthline, 26/08/19. Accessed Oct 2021.
  11. VisuXL Gel Instructions for Use (IFU)
  12. Ibrahim SS. The Role of Surface Active Agents in Ophthalmic Drug Delivery: A Comprehensive
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