What is it?
Each time the eye blinks the eyelid spreads your tears across the surface of the eye to form a film. This film acts to reduce the evaporation of moisture from the eye, helping it stay hydrated. Dry eyes can occur when either you don't produce enough tears or when gaps in the protective tear film allow moisture to be lost.
What are the main causes?
- Contact lenses - contact lens wearers are more prone to dry eye
- Central heating and air conditioning - these dry out the air so reduce moisture in the eyes
- Not blinking enough - When you stare at your computer screens or TV for a long time you can blink up to five times less than normal! This reduces the spread of tears across your eye leading to damage to the protective lipid layer over the eye.**
- Ageing - We tend to make fewer tears as we get older so as you age you are likely to be affected more. For women, hormonal changes during the menopause can also lead to more frequent dry eyes.
- Some medications can cause dry eyes as a side effect or make existing dry eyes worse (e.g. beta blockers, the pill and antihistamines)
**S Patel, R Henderson, L Bradley, B Galloway, L Hunter. Effect of visual display unit use on blink rate & tear stability. Optometry & Vision Science 68 (1991), 888,92.
What can I do about it?
Actimist 2in1 Eye Spray gives you lasting relief in a quick easy spray that repairs the eye's natural protective moisture barrier to reduce moisture loss.
Optrex Advanced Eye Drops instantly rehydrates and replenishes dry eyes and is suitable for use with contact lenses.
Optrex Refreshing Eye Drops are enriched with natural plant extracts to help refresh, soothe and revitalise tired and uncomfortable eyes. The drops are suitable for everyday use.
- Drink plenty of water - this helps keep your whole body, including your eyes, hydrated.
- If you work at a computer then remember to take regular breaks and blink as often as you can.
- If possible try turning the heating or air con down a bit to avoid drying out your eyes.
- Try to keep your workplace well ventilated. If this is difficult then keep a bowl of water nearby (preferably by the heater if it's on) to increase the humidity in the room.
- Try applying a hot compress to the eyes to help stimulate the tear ducts to produce more tears.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.