Sponsored Feature: Avoid Digital Eye
DON’T FORGET TO BLINK!
Our increased use of iPads, smart phones, Kindles, handheld digital devices and gaming units is resulting in some young people developing what’s being termed ‘digital eye’; otherwise known as dry eye, an condition usually associated with older people.
Dry Eye can occur when people spend hours using a screen and their eyes become inflamed, making them feel itchy and gritty. Users can be focused so strongly on the screen that they forget to blink. The normal blinking rate is 12 to 15 times a minute, but using a computer or hand held digital device can mean that they only blink 7 to 8 times a minute. The result is that the tear film that normally lubricates the eye’s surface does not working properly.
The tear film normally deteriorates with age but eye experts are now seeing an increase in younger people presenting with symptoms of dry eye.
The advice from eye experts for avoiding ‘Dry Eye’ is as follows:
- Don’t forget to blink! - When looking at a computer or handheld digital device you blink two to three times less than you normally would. Be aware of this and don’t forget to blink.
- Take breaks – Move away from your computer or put down your handheld device at regular intervals and take regular breaks, ideally every twenty minutes.
- Pay attention to lighting – Lighting is very important and make sure you are in a well lit room when using computers or handheld devices. Glare or low light can strain your eyes.
- Talk to your optician – If you are a very regular user of handheld devices you may need a separate lens prescription, to lower eye strain.
- Get regular eye tests – The Association of Optometrists Ireland recommends that you have an eye test at least every two years and more often when your optometrist advises. Certain patients, such as diabetics, should have an annual eye examination