Dry eyes are common when your eyes are not producing ample tears for lubrication. Dry eyes are closely associated with Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS and are preliminary symptoms indicating the onset of this problem.
When focusing on screens, we gaze more and blink less. Lesser blinking erodes and dries the outer corneal layer. Plus, the tear glands also produce fewer tears that wash and moisturize the eyes, causing dry eyes.
You might feel a dry, itchy sensation in your eyes when you are in an AC room, air-plane, riding a bike or attending screens for a prolonged time.
The corneal or outer surface of the eyes is covered with a thin transparent tear sheath which is composed of fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucous. Damage to this film may lead to reduced secretion of tears, implying dry eyes.
This thin layer can be dysfunctional for several reasons. In a nutshell, there are two main factors contributing to dry eyes-
Decreased Tear Production
If the tear glands do not produce enough tears, the eyes could become aqueous tear deficient. It happens due to these reasons – age, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome (an auto immuno disorder), allergy, thyroid disorder, or vitamin A deficiency.
Increased Tear Evaporation
Like transpiration from leaves and evaporation from open surfaces, tears may also vapourize from open eyes causing a reduction in aqueous fluid. It is often caused by exposure to smoke, dry climates, exposure to aerosol sprays, etc.
Reduced blinking, as in the case of viewing digital screens give eyes less rest time and increases evaporation of aqueous fluid from tears.
Some known symptoms are:
If you persistently see these symptoms for more than a week, it’s better to consult with an ophthalmologist. Typically, they will provide you with a lubricating eye drop to heal the lubricating tear sheath.
Globally, 60 million people have been diagnosed with CVS disorder, with dry eyes symptoms, and this number jumped during a pandemic.
Research shows that 70-80 % population works intensively on screens for at least 5-8 hours a day. And they also use multiple screens, which does not give the eye enough break or rest. Continuous exposure of eyes to digital screens is potentially responsible for people admitting dry eye or CVS.
More interestingly, kids too are exploiting the digital screens for education or recreation, which has increased the queue of patients with dry eyes syndrome or computer vision syndrome.
Computer vision syndrome, alternately called digital Eye Strain, is a group of eye and vision-related problems caused by prolonged exposure to digital screens.
The eyes feel stingy, dry, red, and painful. Delaying treatment only increases the intensity of damage to the eyes. In some cases, eye problems that started with dry eyes grew nasty and led to strained nighttime or vision loss. Though rare, delaying treatment could attract such devastating penalties.
Though dry eyes episodes among kids are far less than in adults, the pandemic has pushed this number in multiples.
Presently, the onus of education is on digital media, and in not more than six months, the percentage of children witnessing dry eyes has increased. The world’s leading ophthalmologists and experts indicate prolonged Digital Eyestrain is responsible for this.
All these aspects mount enormous pressure on eye organs, leading to their damage in the form of different eye disorders, especially dry eyes.
While adolescents are careful about caring for their eyes, smaller kids are ignorant. Parents must be vigilant and must rush to an ophthalmologist if the child starts complaining about symptoms of dry eyes or digital eye strain.
The treatment depends on the diagnosis. However, the treatment is more recessive for kids than adults, and the medications are also tolerant.
The diagnosis includes a one-to-one conversation noting eye disorder, history or daily routine, a screening test to learn comprehensively about the eye damage or any other eye disorders, a contrast-image test( to note light sensitivity), alphabet reading test( to test vision acuity).
Based on the diagnosis, the treatment is carefully tailored. The treatment comprises:
Eye drops and medications
The medications and eye drops recommended for kids are different from adults because their eyes are comparatively more delicate. So, if you have had dry eyes, treatment does not mean the medication is good for your kid as well.
Warm or Cold compress
Compression relieves eye fatigue and relaxes ocular muscles. That is why palm-pressing is one of the oldest remedies to de-strain eyes from regular work.
Some exercises are recommended to increase ocular muscles’ agility, stimulate tear glands and neural activity in the eyes.
Destrain therapy is a fun way to destress eyes while playing interesting games. The therapy intends to pacify eyes nerves to light sensitivity by modulating contrast background colors, thereby soothing eyes.
The treatment for adults can be slightly more stringent. Typically, the symptoms of dry eyes are manifested much later in adults than in kids. Although the same treatment methodology is used, it is modulated and combined with various exercises, de-strain strategies, longer break times, and more continuous eye assessments to supervise damage reversal.
Here are some tips on how to reverse and prevent dry eyes.
Prevention from dry eyes
Splashing water when eyes feel gritty or dry.
Use a lubricating eye drop( recommended by an ophthalmologist) to prevent dry eyes.
Modulate use of the digital screens. While reading, use printed notes or handbooks.
Study your environment- Avoid air conditioners, high altitudes, aerosol sprays, and a rash environment if they are irritating eyes- they may cause dry eyes.
Dab a cotton pad in rose water and keep it on closed eyes for 5-10 minutes. It will cool and relax your eyes.
Seeing the present scenario, both children and adults will have to work on computer screens and have to find an alternating solution to balance both work and eyes health. Here are some De-strain exercises that can help prevent CVS and dry eyes.
Figure of 8
Too much exercise will only confuse you on what to do on priority. However, you must do basic eye exercises regularly to give your eyes enough rest.
Yes, infact, digital de-strain is the need of the hour. Dry eyes are one of the most common symptoms of digital strain. Hence, recognizing the symptoms and seeking proper eye care will break its progression and heal the passive damage to the eye.
Our Destrain digital software is a handy tool to help reverse passive digital damage to the eyes. The de-strain software exercises ocular muscles, strengthens their accommodative potential and stimulates tear glands, warding off dry eyes. A small 20-30 minutes session, thrice a week, will relax eyes and vitalize internal neural connections to function better.
Ward off Dry eyes with proactive dry eyes treatment.