Do you constantly check your smartphone? Read a tablet? Use a computer? Watch videos online? Well, you might want to pay attention, for the sake of your eyes!
Doctors say dry eye, which used to be a problem for the old, is now becoming an epidemic amongst the young!
Paulina Tran says she is proof. “I just started getting this, this dryness in my eyes, almost as if there’s like sandpaper. The burning sensation just became too much to handle.”
If you’re feeling the burn, technology may be to blame.
Dr Gregg Feinerman, an ophthalmologist, says, “People are staring at their iPhones and their laptops and not blinking, which is causing evaporation of the tear film. They’re staring at their devices for 12-hour periods and not taking breaks.”
And while the tearing and blurry vision associated with dry eye can be uncomfortable, doctors say more severe cases can cause permanent damage to the cornea and lead to complications.
If turning off the tech isn’t a realistic option for you, but you want to protect your peepers, try positioning your computer a bit lower, so your eyes don’t have to be open so wide to look at the screen.
And follow the 20, 20, 20 rule:
Dr Rachel Bishop, Head of Consult Services at the National Eye Institute, says, “About every 20 minutes take about a 20 second break, and look off into what we think of as far away – 20 feet. Blink a little bit, relax your focusing muscle, and let your eye kind of have a bit of a break. And then go back to your tasks.”
If you do start to feel symptoms of dry eye, use artificial tears reguarly to lubricate the eyes and reduce discomfort.