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Computer Use and Eyes

Firstly I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe at this time.

I am really really busy behind closed doors ordering spectacles, contact lenses and I have now done over 50 eye consultations over the phone.

I am working really hard to get the team and the practices ready for opening. 

I am however being super cautious and we require all the appropriate PPE and training before we can safely open our doors to offer more services. 

We do have to get very close to check eyes and we want to be sure that when we do start to see patients we are as safe as we possibly can be for our health and yours.

One of the most frequent questions I have been asked over the last few weeks, is regarding screen work and our eyes.  Therefore I have put together below a little guide in how you can help look after your eyes during this time when we all seem to be stuck looking at screens.

I hope this is useful.

Screens and Eye Health

When we concentrate on a screen device such as a phone, tablet, computer or the TV, we blink less. 

We need to blink as each blink helps replenish the front surface of our eyes and the tear film. 

When we blink less, the tear film breaks down and the delicate balance of our tears is disrupted. 

The tear film is the first surface that the light which hits our eyes meets – if the tear film has broken down, it can affect our vision.

Lack of blinking and the break down of the tear film can also make our eyes feel dry, sore and they can become red. 

The lack of blinking can also cause the glands which help produce our tears to become blocked.

So, to stop this from happening – we have to Blink!  Sounds daft but we need to remember to blink – some ideas on how to remember are:

The 20-20-20 rule

 For this you need to set a timer for every 20 minutes – then every 20 minutes when the alarm goes off you need to look into the distance (about 20ft – look out a window, down the office but refocus on something far away)

and blink 20 times.  

Another idea is to try and blink each time you hit the “Enter” key or click the Mouse  –

it will be super annoying to begin with as you may feel like you are constantly blinking, but once it becomes a habit your eyes will thank you for it.

Hot Compresses

If you feel your glands may be blocked, the best way to clear them is with the use of hot compresses – there are 2 ways to do this

Use an Eye-Bag – (we use a lot of the Optase eye bags)  this is a special bag which usually goes in a microwave (there are oven versions) and it heats up to an Optimum temperature which will help break down the Meibomium oil (which helps make up your tears, but can become blocked in the glands when you don’t blink enough)   

This is really relaxing as you place the warm eye-bag over closed eyes and leave in place for 5-10 minutes. 

At the end you need to gently massage your lids (either with your finger or through the bag) along the base of the lid where the lashes are – this will help break up any blockages in the glands and to release them – this can make your vision blurred but only lasts a few minutes

Hot Flannel Hot Compress

If you don’t have an eye-bag you can use a hot flannel – start by boiling the water in a kettle (always use sterilised water near the eyes) and allow the water to cool – it needs to be warm, but please take care not to burn yourself – an ideal temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius (like a baby’s bath temp)  Then soak a clean flannel in the water, wring it out and fold into a pad – place over closed eyes, until cools, then place the flannel back in the water, wring out and repeat – you need the heat over the eyes for 5-10 minutes. 

Afterwards massage along the lid margin gently.

If your eyes are still sore, you may wish to consider the use of eye drops

There is an abundance of eye drops available, however I would always recommend a preservative free version. 

At Coton & Hamblin, we use lots of HycoSan drops – they are preservative free and work very well.  

If you would like to purchase an eye bag or any drops please contact me to arrange a day and time so I can prepare a contact-less collection

If you require any advice about drops or any other eye conditions please contact me:

email or call 0208 858 1858 or 0208 854 1491

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