While not often heard about, Dry Eye Disease is a common condition where the surface of the eye becomes inflamed and sore due to a poor relationship between the tear film and the eyelids. This might be because your eyes are not producing enough tears, or that the chemistry of the tear film is out of balance. Luckily, the eye experts at Théa UK have devised 5 simple ways to look after your eyes.
Reducing time spent on screens
We’re all guilty of spending time on our screens, whether it’s flicking through social media, watching the latest series on Netflix, or working from home. But this increased time in front of our screens is not doing our eyes any favours.
Research has found that our blink rate can reduce by as much as 50% when looking at a screen. Blinking is essential for ensuring tears are spread evenly across the eyes surface, keeping them healthy and hydrated so blinking less means our eyes aren’t getting enough lubrication, causing them to dry out.
Blinking frequently and fully while you look away from the screen is a must to ensure your tears are adequately dispersed across the front of your eyes.
Avoid certain environments
Certain environmental conditions can trigger dry eye symptoms. These include windy conditions, central heating, air conditioning, low humidity environments such as airplane cabins or particles such as dust, pollen, or pollution. However sometimes these environments are inevitable. Here are some top tips for how to cope:
- Avoid direct heating on your face, particularly car heaters which can cause your eyes to feel dry, sore, and gritty
- Protect your eyes from the cold winds – ironically symptoms of dry eye can include excessively watery eyes
- Central heating in the home creates a dry atmosphere- consider using a humidifier or open the windows for a few minutes on a cold day
- Air conditioners reduce the humidity in the air which leads to tears evaporating faster. Avoid sitting close to the AC and turn it off when possible, to help prevent eye discomfort
- Use preservative free artificial tears to help lubricate your eyes throughout the day.
Adopt an appropriate eye care routine
Most of us think about our daily health routine as including teeth, hair, and skin but often forget our eyes. Théa have devised a simple eye care routine in 4 easy steps to keep our eyes looking and feeling their best.
- Warmth – warming the eyelids helps to increase oil flow into the eyes, keeping them hydrated and providing instant relief
- Cleanse – cleansing the eyelids regularly can help manage conditions such as dry eye and blepharitis, and help remove dust, pollen, or discharge from eyelids due to allergy or infection
- Hydrate – using artificial tears can provide relief from dry eye symptoms. They also help protect the eye surface, increase tear film thickness, and restore the natural balance of the tears
- Nourish – consider a nutritional supplement available in a once-a-day tablet to provide the much-needed vitamins and minerals needed to support good eye health
More information about Théa products for each step are below:
Go preservative free
Preservatives are natural or synthetic ingredients added to products to prevent contamination and prolong shelf life and are often used in eye care products. However in eyes, they can do more damage than good as they can be linked to allergy sensitivity, further eye irritation and adverse reactions. When used over time they have also been shown to damage the tear film further exacerbating dry eye symptoms. To combat this, Théa have designed product dispensing systems allowing products to be free of preservatives.
Visit your Optometrist regularly
In a recent survey conducted by Théa UK, two thirds of people stated that sight was their most important sense, however 36% admitted that they hadn’t been for an eye test within the last two years and nearly one in ten (9%) had never had an eye test! This is despite official NHS guidance stating that people should get their eyes tested every two years. It is vital you go for a regular eye test as they not only determine whether you need glasses or a change in prescription, but can also easily detect conditions such as Dry Eye Disease and your Optometrist can advise the best treatments to manage your symptoms. To find out more about eye symptoms and Théa’s products to help treat your dry eyes, please visit: www.youreyehealth.co.uk.
1 Sheppard, A and Wolffsohn, J (2018) Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement, and amelioration. Available at : https://bmjophth.bmj.com/content/3/1/e000146 (Accessed 29 July 2022)
2 Thea Survey 2022
3 nhs.uk (2019) How often can I have a free NHS sight test?. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/opticians/how-often-can-i-have-a-free-nhs-eye-test/#:~:text=It’s%20recommended%20that%20most%20people,about%20free%20NHS%20sight%20tests [Accessed 29 July 2022