New research shows how half of Brits are suffering from dry eyes thanks to lockdown screens marathon and totally oblivious to the health peril. Millions of Brits are putting their eye health at risk as pandemic working hours and frequent use of devices for leisure have led to screen times soaring. However, most sufferers are totally oblivious to the eye health perils of dry eye syndrome.
A research poll by world experts in eye-care – Rohto – has revealed that almost six out of ten adults now suffer from dry eye, a clinical cause of eye irritation, fatigue and discomfort. And a similar proportion claim that their use of screen-based devices has increased since the lockdown, with a National Bureau of Economic Research survey confirming that the average working day is now nearly an hour longer.
Over half of adults questioned in the Rohto survey stare at a screen for five to seven hours a day, while a staggering 36 per cent do this for eight to 12 hours a day. Yet just seven in 100 took the recommended amount of screen breaks.
Dry eye can lead to long-term eye damage
Dry eye is caused by a lack of lubrication in the eye – either due to staring at a screen for hours without a break (and a lack of blinking), or because the tear glands are not working effectively. In a normal eye, the tear film – the multi-layer moist protective film – covers the cornea and lubricates the eye. However, when eyes are overused, the tear glands don’t produce enough tears so dry spots appear on the surface of the eye. Hence, when our eyes do not have enough 'fluid' in the first place and/or the lipids do not spread over the eye thanks to a lack of blinking dry eye is caused and our eyes can also experience irritation and discomfort.
It’s vital to tackle this problem early – with regular use of dry eye relief drops which address as many aspects of the condition as possible and therefore break the vicious cycle of dry eye to avoid long-term damage to the cornea.
Rohto has launched the very latest science backed innovation to treat dry eye – New Rohto Dry Aid. It is a product innovation that is a must have for all dry eye sufferers. A scary 20 per cent of people with dry eye end up with severe dry eye disease, affecting night vision, driving and reading. The new research poll commissioned by Rohto also found that half of adults complained of irritated eyes and itchiness, while four in ten said their eyes were red, tired and sore. The frequency of these complaints was linked with the amount of screen time, with those enduring 51 to 60 hours a week being 50 per cent more likely to experience eye problems.
Experts like me recommend that we give our eyes a break from screens every 20 minutes by looking at a distant object (20ft away) for 20 seconds and blink for 20 seconds – it’s called the 20 20 20 screen break rules (including usage of multiple digital devices). Yet, only a minority are doing this so it’s no wonder that four out of ten Brits say their lockdown screen habits are making their eyes feel worse than ever before.
Contact lens wearers most at risk Symptoms of dry eye are a particular problem for contact lens wearers as three quarters say they suffer from dry eye. Yet they could do more to help themselves as over a third admit sleeping in their contact lenses, whilst 43 per cent have taken a shower wearing them! Ageing also impacts since our body produces less hyaluronic acid from our 40s onwards and this is key for retaining moisture in the eyes. Hormonal changes before and during the menopause, and regular use of antihistamines, antidepressants and diuretics, also affect the amount of moisture in the eye.
New Rohto Dry Aid treats eight symptoms of dry eye providing effective, soothing relief for up to 12 hours and is non-blurry and helps to tackle:
New Rohto Dry Aid offers Tearshield Technology™ to hydrate, protect and restore the natural tear film, even in contact lens wearers and as a result, addressing key issues of dry eye and breaking its vicious cycle.