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Dealing with dry eyes in the office

I work with computers at least 8 hours a day, and my eyes get dry / gritty by the end. Is there anything I can do apart from using eye drops to stop this, and what are the best eye drops on the market (NB. I wear contact lenses). Thanks in advance!

Optician’s answer

Dry eye can be caused by a number of factors, though computer users do tend to be affected by it quite frequently. A commonly cited reason is that people tend to blink a lot less while looking at the computer screen, giving the natural tear layer a greater chance to evaporate.

I would suggest taking regular breaks and blinking more often. Every 20 minutes, take a break and fully open and close your eyes in slow motion. Repeat this 10 times, in order to rewet the front surface of your eye (blinking also helps to spread a new tear layer over the eye to hydrate your eyes). 

Be sure to check your environment, as air conditioning can also increase dry eye symptoms.

You can also apply a warm compress or a specially designed eye bag to closed eye lids (without contact lenses). This can help to release tears from any blocked tear glands, and help reduce the symptoms of dry eye (read full instructions before use).

To be thorough, I would advise that you arrange an appointment with your optician to find out which type of dry eye you have. This will allow the optician to create a more tailored treatment plan, and to see if the contact lenses you have are the best ones for you.

There are contact lenses that can help reduce the symptoms of dry eye better than others. To find out more about dry eye, read our article on Dry Eye Syndrome.