By Dr. Mridula P, Consultant- Ophthalmologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal
Walking around feeling like someone massaged your eyes with sandpaper probably isn’t your idea of a good time. Unfortunately, itchy eyes that come with dry eye, this feeling might just be fact of life.
Dry eye is a condition that happens when your eyes can’t lubricate themselves properly. Dealing with the dry, itchy eyes there are definitely solutions out there. Sometimes dry itchy eyes can happen because of focusing on something too hard. These days it’s all too easy to spend a big part of the day staring at screens and our eyes are paying for it. Between using phones, tablets and computers at home and at work, many people spend hours at a time staring fixatedly at a close point.
We naturally blink less when we are concentrating. If we are staring at it for hours, it can easily lead to dry, itchy eyes. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air conditioned room, while riding a bike or after looking after computer screen for few hours. Treatments for dry eyes may make your condition more comfortable. These treatments include lifestyle changes and eye drops.
To prevent this issue, we should keep our computer screen below eye level. If it’s too high, we will instinctively open our eyes wider to see the screen, potentially spearing up your tear films evaporation. We should also work in breaks for your eyes throughout the day by closing them every so often, reminding ourselves to blink more. Every 20 minutes we should set our gaze on something 20ft away for 20 seconds.
Dry Eyes: When eyes are fixed on a screen, we tend to blink less, this can lead to the layer of tears on the surface of the eye (cornea) evaporating too quickly, causing dryness and irritation. Other reasons that can cause dry eyes including air conditioning and heating. So if you spend your day in an office building or other temperature controlled space you may be particularly prone to suffering from dry eye. It is common chronic condition. The condition is generally mild and only causes minor discomfort for most people, but for some it can be severe and debilitating. Unfortunately, there is no cure for dry eye but there are certain changes that one can make to help relieve symptoms.
To reduce symptoms of dry eye, follow the following instructions;
-Remember to blink
-Limit the use of air conditioning and heating units if possible
-Use preservative free artificial tears
-Use a humidifier at home
-Avoid cigarette smoke and dusty environments
Itchy eyes: Itchy eyes are very common problem that most of us have experienced and can be caused by many different conditions. It’s important to identify the cause of the itching to treat it properly and decrease your symptoms as much as possible. If you rub your eyes for relief, know that this can be actually make the itching worse and possibly cause damage to your eyes.
One of the most common symptoms of this condition is itchy, inflamed eyes. Other symptoms that may occur include teary and swollen eyes. This allergic response is due to the release of histamines when the offending allergen comes into contact with the surface of eye.
To avoid the symptoms associated to Itchy eyes;
-Avoid known sources of allergens
-Wash your face hands eyes to remove any allergens
-Regularly vacuum and dust the house and change bedding
-Avoid carpeted areas where possible as carpet traps and accumulates allergens.
-Only use allergy or red eye drops as advised by an eye care professional
-Persistently strained dry or itches eyes should be checked by an eye care professional.
These symptoms can be a sign of a refractive error which includes short sightedness, long sightedness, astigmatism or chronic eye condition and treatments are available for such conditions.