- Tears, made by the lacrimal glands, are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Tears bathe the surface of the eye, keeping it moist, and wash away dust and debris. They also help protect the eye from bacterial and other types of infections.
- In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon.
- Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane.
Dry eye symptoms may include any of the following:
- Stinging or burning of the eye
- A stringy discharge from the eye
- Pain and redness of the eye
- Episodes of blurred vision
- Heavy eyelids
- Inability to cry when emotionally stressed
- Uncomfortable contact lenses
- Decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, or any activity that requires sustained visual attention
Causes and Risk Factors
- Skin disease on or around the eyelids can result in dry eye.
- Diseases of the glands in the eyelids, such as meibomian gland dysfunction, can cause dry eye.
- Dry eye can result from chemical and thermal burns that scar the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the eye.
- Allergies can be associated with dry eye.
- Infrequent blinking, associated with staring at computer or video screens, may also lead to dry eye symptoms.
- Both excessive and insufficient dosages of vitamins can contribute to dry eye.
- Loss of sensation in the cornea from long-term contact lens wear can lead to dry eye.
- Dry eye can be a symptom of chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane lining the eyelid and covering the front part of the eye, or the lacrimal gland.
- Dry eye may occur from exposure keratitis, in which the eyelids do not close completely during sleep.
- Dry eye can be managed as an ongoing condition. The first priority is to determine if a disease is the underlying cause of the dry eye. If it is, then the underlying disease needs to be treated.
- Cyclosporine, an anti-inflammatory medication, is the only prescription drug available to treat dry eye. It decreases corneal damage, increases basic tear production, and reduces symptoms of dry eye. In some cases, a simple surgery, called punctal cautery, is recommended to permanently close the drainage holes.
- Use artificial tears, gels, gel inserts, and ointments – available over the counter – as the first line of therapy. They offer temporary relief and provide an important replacement of naturally produced tears in patients with aqueous tear deficiency.
- Wearing sunglasses that fit close to the face or that have side shields can help slow tear evaporation from the eye surfaces.
- Avoid dry conditions and allow your eyes to rest when performing activities that require you to use your eyes for long periods of time.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome, also referred to as Digital Eye Strain, describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of digital screen use.
The most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain are
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
These symptoms may be caused by:
- Poor lighting
- Glare on a digital screen
- Improper viewing distances
- Poor seating posture
- Uncorrected vision problems
Diagnosis of Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain: Computer Vision Syndrome, or Digital Eye Strain, can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Testing, with special emphasis on visual requirements at the computer or digital device working distance, may include:
- Patient history to determine any symptoms the patient is experiencing and the presence of any general health problems, medications taken, or environmental factors that may be contributing to the symptoms related to computer use.
- Visual acuity measurements to assess the extent to which vision may be affected.
- A refraction to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism).
- Testing how the eyes focus, move and work together. In order to obtain a clear, single image of what is being viewed, the eyes must effectively change focus, move and work in unison.
Treatments and prevention of computer vision syndrome
1. How to work for long hours on computer: The 20-20-20 rule
● Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes.
● Focus your eyes on points at least 20 feet from your computer.
● Blink your eyes often so as to dampen them.
2. Proper lighting in the room:
● Adjust lights to reduce glare on the computer screen.
● Use glare filters to reduce the glare on the monitor.
● Adequate illumination of room and do not work in the dark.
3. The ideal computer monitor
● Use flicker free monitor (LCD/LED).
● Monitor should always be five to nine inches below the eye level.
● The screen should be about a hand’s distance from your eyes.
● Adjust the brightness and contrast based on your comfort.
● Increase the font size of the text.
4. Prepare a comfortable setting of computer monitor
5. Your smart phone may cause computer vision syndrome
● Hold your smartphone farther away.
● The closer you hold your phone to your eyes, the more stress you put on eyes.
● Adjust the settings if needed to enable larger print.
6. Consult your eye doctor
- EYE POWER CHECK-UP.
- CORRECTION OF REFRACTIVE ERROR AND PRESBYOPIA
- TREATMENT OF HETEROPHORIA AND HETEROTROPIA.
- TESTS FOR MUSCLES BALANCE.
- TESTS FOR BINOCULAR VISION.
- TEARS FUNCTION TESTS.