A workday without a computer and an evening without a smartphone, tablet or similar seems hardly possible nowadays. Yet staring at a flickering monitor for hours on end puts an enormous strain on the eyes. The consequences can be dry eyes, which may become noticeable due to an itching or burning sensation, or redness of the eyes, among other things. This can, however, be avoided through preventative measures.
What causes dry eyes?
On average, a human blinks 15 times per minute. Someone who permanently stares at a monitor, however, opens and closes their eyes a lot less in the same period of time. The result is an increased sensation of dryness in the eye (Office Eye Syndrome).
Normally, with each blink, the surface of the eye is cleaned and new lacrimal fluid is laid over the eye like an extremely thin film. Not only are foreign bodies removed with the aid of this liquid, but also the eye structure is kept smooth. If too little lacrimal fluid is produced, the tear film breaks up and the eye dries out.
How do I notice that my eyes are too dry?
Anyone who spends more than two hours a day in front of a computer can assume that they are putting a great strain on their eyes. Whether these really are too dry can be recognized from a range of possible symptoms. People affected said their eyes would:
- feel under pressure,
- be sensitive to light or
- tired or
- feel like a foreign body is under the eyelids.
Moreover, dry eyes can cause other problems in everyday life. Some people complain about intolerance to cosmetics, others feel pain when wearing contact lenses or even experience problems concentrating.
What can I do against dry eyes? The best tips for the office and home
If PC work dries out your eyes too much, there are some things you can do in the office in order to take a fresh look at your work:
- Artificial tears or eye lubricants: eye drops free from preserving agents supply the eye with urgently needed moisture. HYLO® FRESH lubricating eye drops can be used as required, when your eyes demand it.
- Fresh air: you should regularly open the window for a few minutes. The oxygen is good for stressed eyes.
- Short break: spoil your eyes every now and then with a moment when they do not have to focus at the monitor. Instead look out of the window for a few relaxed moments.
- Intentional blinking: stick a note on your monitor to keep reminding you to blink. Blinking for ten seconds in quick succession is enough to to slowly re-moisten dehydrating
Also, there are things you can do at home if you want to avoid dry eyes. In order to be really successful in that, you should first of all reduce the amount of laptop, smartphone and tablet consumption, especially if you have to sit in front of a monitor every day anyway as part of your job. Instead, go for a walk in the fresh air: that will not only provide you with a wonderful way to switch off from the stresses of the working day, but your eyes will be grateful to you, too.
People who like to read should rather pick up a book instead of an e-reader. Printed content is less stressful on the eyes. Also, when you are travelling in your car, you should ensure that the ventilation is not aimed directly at your eyes – draughts are poison for the tear film. They cause the lacrimal fluid to evaporate prematurely.
Make sure you have a healthy, balanced diet. That includes a varied dietary plan with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and a fluid intake of around two litres per day. The reasons: certain vitamins have a positive influence on the eyes and the fluids which are absorbed moisten them from the inside.
Do not forget to have regular check-ups by your eye doctor
Anyone who sits in front of a PC a lot should visit an eye doctor every year so that eyesight, spatial vision, position of the eyes, field of vision and colour vision can be checked. The examinations should detect problems early enough so that they can be remedied with eyewear.