If you notice that your eyes are red and dry, one of the causes is that you could be spending a lot of time in front of a computer or electronic devices. Red eyes is the most common sign in any situation of ocular alteration, it can be caused by irritation, infection, inflammation, the presence of a foreign body, among other causes.
“We could practically say that anything can cause red eyes, from very trivial alterations to serious processes. With regard to the ocular surface, it is very important to know that it must always be moist and lubricated, which is done by the tear, consisting of several components that are produced on the surface of the eye”, explained Nelson Bravo, Tico ophthalmologist.
On the other hand, dry eye disorders can be given by three types: evaporative (which is the most frequent where the tear evaporates before it should), by water deficiency (seen in rheumatic diseases such as Sjoegren’s syndrome, a disorder in which the glands that produce tears are destroyed) and neurotropic (due to corneal alterations generally).
“Today we can cite a fourth cause, which is computer dry eye syndrome: we normally blink an average of 20 times per minute, but when we are concentrated and absorbed in the computer, reading, cell phones, tablets, or the like, we unconsciously lower our blinking to less than 10 times per minute, so we do not spread the tear produced and consequently the evaporation rate increases, thus producing dry eye”, explained Bravo.
To identify if you suffer from dry eyes, recognize as the most frequent symptoms: ocular burning, blurred vision, red eye, sensation of dirt in the eye and -as a defense reaction- secondary crying.
It is crying that occurs due to the inflammatory disorder. This happens due to the damage to cells due to dryness and friction that occurs every time the eyelid goes up and down, without lubricating the surface.
“We initially saw dry eyes in patients with inflammatory diseases and older people. Today it has been generalized to the rest of the population due to the massive use of computers and technological devices, being the most frequent cause of consultation in students, young, middle-aged and elderly patients,” said Bravo.
Caused by teleworking
The same happens with teleworking, and it is even noted that the more hours you spend in front of a computer, the greater the injury. By not treating dry eyes, it could generate structural changes in the ocular surface, generating poor vision and inflammatory processes that could lead to pathologies such as pterygium, conjunctival redundancy and others.
The underlying diseases and causes should be treated to reduce the condition as much as possible and perform tear replacement therapy, if necessary. For this, it is vital to visit an ophthalmologist and start monitoring.
“It is important to note that the opticians perform examinations to make glasses and contact lenses, but the medical part as such is not evaluated,” the specialist clarified. On the other hand, this condition can be prevented through exercises. One of them is applying the “20-20-20” rule.
“For every 20 minutes of work on electronic or reading devices, rest for 20 seconds looking into the distance at more than 20 feet,” explained Bravo. Another method is by becoming aware of the need to blink and use an eye lubricant during hourly work hours.