Dry eyes are not a new phenomenon. But the buzz around it is a little too much to handle, thanks to Covid-19. So the news is that according to a study conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong a few weeks back, 1 out 5 patients who recovered from Coronavirus are showing the symptoms of dry eyes.
Wait! Don’t ignore this, because dry eye, is as it is, a huge problem because of increased screen time. And if Covid-19 is making it worse, it’s high time you look into this.
Basically, dry eye disease is a condition where the eyes have less lubrication. This happens due to the disturbance in the tear film which lines and coats our eyes. It is mainly due to decreased/abnormal secretions from the tear-forming glands in the eyelids (meibomian glands) which could be caused by infection or allergies.
“It is aggravated by certain factors such as contact lens wear, prolonged screen time, exposure to dust and wind, etc,” says Dr Anita Sethi, Director, Ophthalmology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
Let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of dry eyes
- Tiredness and heaviness in the eyelids
Don’t worry as there are ways to prevent dry eyes
- In the early stages, one can prevent this by decreasing digital strain, treating allergies and infections in time, and using lubricating drops.
- Take small breaks if you are using a mobile phone or laptop.
- Be aware of the light in the room or if you are outside.
- Keep a check on your posture.
- Use anti-glare glasses or screen tempered for laptops.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- A good humidifier at your home will also be helpful.
- Wash your eyes frequently.
- If you are feeling the burn in the eyes then close your eyes for some time and sit back for 10 -15 minutes.
- Don’t go out if it’s hot and windy. If you have to go, use sunglasses.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses.
- Over-the-counter artificial tears are also available which are most commonly used but before that get approval from your doctor.
- Try doing eye exercises.
- Include vitamin A-rich food in your diet because it’s great for your eyes. Eat a lot of mangoes, papaya, peaches, spinach, apricot, bell pepper etc.
“Once the condition becomes chronic, you will have to visit your doctor for evaluation. The evaluation consists of an examination and a few dry eye tests such as meibography. This helps in diagnosing the cause and giving specific treatment which could be either medicines and drops or maybe a procedure such as IPL or Lipiflow,” suggests Dr Sethi.
Ladies, you can’t do anything about the weather but what you can do is take care of your eyes. And now you have your go-to guide too. So, give your eyes some TLC!