My phone pinged, screen time up 25%. It’s not surprising as for the past 18 months I have barely glanced away from a screen. Zoom meetings, FaceTime with the family and the constant swipe of social media has taken its toll on my eyes.
And I am not alone. The average person looks at their mobile phone up to 150 times a day. Over 88% of UK homes own a computer and I bet recently they have been in constant use. Looking at a mobile phone or a computer screen reduces the rate at which we blink. Ideally we should be blinking every 3-4 seconds for comfortable, clear vision and healthy eyes. But staring constantly into a screen reduces the rate to once every 20 seconds.
This might not seem alarming at first but if you multiply the days, weeks and years, that we are all constantly using our devices throughout the day and evening, you start to see the detrimental effect a screen can have on the eyes.
I had put the eye irritation I had been experiencing down to hayfever. I hadn’t considered Dry Eye as I foolishly believed I was too young for this condition. How wrong I was, and how grateful am I for discovering Thealoz Duo.
Of course, age isn’t the only cause of Dry Eye Syndrome. The condition can affect people of varying ages. It can also be caused by sunlight, working at a computer, smoking, poor diet, high blood pressure, stress and lack of sleep. I tick more than one of these boxes.
Each time you blink you refresh your eye with a very thin layer of moisture. This layer is called tear film and it’s far more important than it looks. The Tear film helps you to see clearly, keeps your eyes comfortable, provides nourishment for the surface of the eye, washes away any debris and protects the surface of the eye.
The tear film consists of three layers. An oily top (lipid) layer that stops fluid from evaporating too quickly. This layer is produced by meibomian glands in the eyelids. The middle layer is watery and contains proteins and salts that are produced by your lacrimal gland, under the eyebrow. The third and inner layer, is a sticky mucous layer that helps the tear film spread and stay in place. It’s produced by specialised cells on the surface of your eye.
Dry Eye is a condition that occurs when the surface of the eye becomes inflamed and sore. It can happen when the tear film and the eyelids aren’t working in harmony. It might be because you don’t have enough tears or that the chemistry of the tear film is out of balance.
The most common cause is chronic inflammation of the eyelids which is known as Blepharitis.
Gritty sore eyes, eyes that feel tired all the time, watery eyes, easily irritated eyes, especially irritated by smoke, wind and air conditioning. If eyes are uncomfortable when wearing contact lenses or if you have blurry vision that goes when you blink. If your eyes look slightly red all the time or feel like you have something in them.
As Dry Eye is a chronic condition, it needs to be managed regularly rather than being cured. It’s not unlike a skin condition, such as eczema, you need to manage it daily to avoid flare-ups of symptoms.
Taking care to use the correct lubricant eye drops, known as artificial tears, will help to keep eyelids healthy. Also, taking regular breaks from your computer during the day and avoiding air conditioning will help protect the tear film.
Eating a well balanced diet that includes Omega-3 fatty acids will be beneficial for the oil producing glands in the eyelids. Drinking enough water throughout the day will also help your entire body stay hydrated.
Thea Pharmaceuticals offer a range of specialist eye products. They are passionate about raising awareness and have launched the #NoEyeDea campaign. Through social media, they will make us all more aware of Dry Eye symptoms and the solutions available. Follow their Instagram account @youreyehealth for more information.
I have been using Thea products regularly and the effect is noticeable, both immediately, and long term.
Keeping the eye lubricated is essential for good eye health, if you have moderate to severe symptoms, Thealoz Duo Gel will gently and effectively relieve stinging and eye irritation from environmental factors, as well as when you are travelling or working for long periods in front of the computer.
The Duo Gel is completely preservative free and formulated to the same pH as the surface of the eye. The gel has a natural ingredient that helps the eye retain moisture for longer. I found the gel beneficial when I used it at night, it refreshed my eyes while I slept, and they were less likely to feel uncomfortable during the day.
These drops can also be used day or night, have no preservatives and hydrates and relieves Dry Eye symptoms quickly. The solution can be used by contact lens wearers who wear any type of contact lens. The effect of using Thea Duo is immediate and lasts all day long, (although you can use them as often as you need to.)
The multi-use bottle is easy to use and accurately administers the drops into the corner of the eye. I have kept a bottle of Thealoz Duo on my desk in case I need to top up during the day when I feel excessive eye strain from working at the computer.
Something I hadn’t considered, was how clean are my eye lids? I never go to bed without removing makeup. But have the cleansers I’ve been using, dried out my eye lids? Maybe they have, because when I tried Blephaclean, a fluid soaked eye wipe, they felt so much more comfortable.
The wipes can be used before eye procedures, after eye surgery and if you experience an eye infection. But you must remove contact lenses before use.