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Why you get blurred vision from dry eyes and what you can do about it

I am staring at my computer.I have been doing so for several hours, and I cannot see a thing. 

Do you ever notice that if you have been working intensely with your computer, you are sitting closer and closer to it? Have you noticed that a combination of the glare from the light and the dryness of the room causes you to close up your eyes and your vision to blur?

You try and blink to clear the vision, but it barely works.You put in an eyedrop, and it might work for about 10 to 15 minutes, but at the end of the day your eyes are tired, and they are dry.

Did you know that the complaint of dry eyes is one of the commonest eye conditions for which people seek the advice of an ophthalmologist?

Dry eyes

  • affect predominantly adult patients
  • affect women more than men
  • are more common in patients who are over the age of 50
  • are more common in patients who are diabetic
  • are more common in patients who have had previous laser refractive surgery
  • can run in the family

You may well have a relative who you recall had to have their eyedrops all the time because their eyes feel dry. 

What is this feeling of dry eyes?

It does not have to be grittiness or feeling of sand in your eyes.It can be that they feel tired and essentially dry. You have difficulty in opening the eyelids, and when you do open them, you do not seem to be able to see so clearly. This blurred vision is going to impact on your ability to work and your ability to drive.You have just to close your eyes (when not driving of course) and rest them, get up and walk away from the computer, go outside into the fresh air, go for a walk, and put in some eyedrops. 

There is no point sitting at the computer blinking away trying to see when they have dried up.

So what is the answer?

Should we be doing less computer work?I think that is a question we should all be asking ourselves.We love our tablets, our mobile phones, our connectivity. 

I realised the other day, I was sitting at my desk, and I had opened my Ipad, my nice small smartphone and then my other slightly larger smartphone. I was using three small digital screens at the same time: one was to watch TV, another was to do e-mails, and the third was for Whatsapp messaging. I was multitasking with three screens.Not a good habit from the eye aspect.

What you can do at home and work to avoid getting blurred dry eyes:

  1. Do your computer screen work in the morning after you have bathed your eyes with a warm flannel or cotton wool and put in a lubricating eyedrop. 
  2. Restrict the number of hours of small screen work that you do and instead read a book or go out for a walk even if it is just around the block.
  3. Always have some lubricating eyedrops with you. These should not contain any preservatives, in case your eyes feel dry.Even if you do not use them, you know you have got them. If you are stuck with doing something important that you have to finish and need to use your eyes, but they are blurring up because of their dryness, then you can put the eyedrops in.
  4. Seek the advice of an ophthalmologist who will measure the tear film height and distribution plus break up time, look at the tear osmolarity, possibly look at inflammatory markers like MMP9.You will be examined on the slit lamp. The ophthalmologist will examine your eyelid margins, the eyelash roots, the meibomian gland orifices on the eyelid margin and use fluorescein drops to assess the surface of the eye and health of the tear film.
  5. You can also take Omega 3 supplements to help improve the oily glands and their secretions called meibum, which are generally secreted on to the lid margin.
  6. Have a diet high in Omega 3 foods including such food as salmon, sardines, anchovies and flax seeds.
  7. Take regular breaks away from the office or warm domestic environment where there is either central heating or air conditioning. Try and avoid dusty, polluted atmosphere found in certain parts of London and other cities.

If you have any queries and want to know more about dry eye, you should contact Clinica London. Our staff and consultants would be happy to help you.

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