When you use a computer or other digital device for hours everyday, you are more susceptible to dry eyes and eyestrain.  We have prescription medications for dry eyes, but many patients can become more comfortable and be more productive with these practical changes.

The 20/20/20 Rule

Every 20 minutes look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Why does this help?
Your normal blink rate is about 18 per minute. It drops to about 6 per minute when you stare at a digital screen. You lose a lot of your tears through evaporation, so this reduced blink rate keeps your eyes open, allowing them to to dry out. Looking away causes you to blink normally and rewet your eyes.

The “Pondering” Rule

Look away from your screen when you are thinking about what to write next.

Why does this help?
Most of us will stare at our screen when we are thinking about what to write next. While this can be necessary, like when filling out an online form, it often causes us to blink less. If you will look away from your screen while “pondering” what to write next, you will blink and rewet your eyes.

Get a Drink of Water

Drink water throughout the day.

Why does this help?
Our bodies are largely water. Dehydration is more common than many of us imagine. There is evidence this is a major factor in joint pain and arthritis. Your eyes will tend to dry out if they don’t have adequate water available .

Update Your Glasses Prescription

Even a Small Prescription matters when you spend hours looking at a screen.

Why does this help?
Think of holding up a can of peas. It’s not very heavy, but it gets harder to hold as time goes by. When your eyes are constantly focusing to keep things clear, wearing the right RX will provide amazing relief.

Use OTC Eye Drops

Sometimes all you need is a little relief.

Why does this help?
There are a myriad of over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops for dry eye available. If you find one that works the best for you, stay with it. You can use these up to 4-6 times per day. If you start using them more than that, you should consider a prescription drop.

Use a Bruder Mask

Proper heat can help relieve dry eyes.

Why does this help?
A Bruder mask is used to apply heat to the glands in the lids for a short period of time. You start by heating the mask in your microwave for 20-30 seconds. Then apply to your lids for 5-10 minutes. The beads in the mask are scientifically designed for long, even heat.

Get Your Lids Checked

The pores of the lid glands may be plugged.

Why does this help?
Your eye lids have accessory tear glands in them. The pores are at the base of the eyelids, even though you can’t see them without a microscope Many dry eyes are caused by these pores being plugged, so your tear film is out of balance. Have your eye doctor take a look to make sure they are open and operating properly.

Use Eyelid Cleaning Cloths

One way to clean your eyelids is with specially designed cleaning cloths.

Why does this help?
Cleaning the pores with a soft cloth can be very helpful in relieving dry eye symptoms. Since it’s difficult to see the pores, clean the base of your eyelashes. This will cause you to clean the pores of your glands.

Have Blephex Treatment

Junk can build up in your eyelid gland pores.

Why does this help?
Think of how regular teeth cleaning can help your mouth stay healthy. It’s the same with your eye lids. Blephex is a specially designed instrument that cleans your eyelids. Many patients find twice a year to be a good option.

Use Prescription Eye Drops

Xiidra and Restasis can help dry eyes.

Why does this help?
Sometimes the best treatment is a prescription eye drop specifically designed for dry eyes. These can change the composition of your tears
Eye Doctor Examining Patient

Dry eyes and eyestrain have increased with our use of digital devices. There are a number of options to help you treat these conditions and to be more comfortable.  Typically, the best place to start is with an eye exam to determine the best option for you.