Is the computer making my eyes gritty?
Dr Mark Porter advises a reader whose eyes have become dry and gritty since working on a computer.
Studies have shown that people blink much less frequently than normal when concentrating on a computer screen.
Q: Could working at a computer all day be responsible for my gritty eyes? I have just started a new job that means I spend nearly all day in front of a screen. I never have a problem at the weekend so it must be work related.
A: This is a common problem and often blamed on harmful rays emitted by computer screens but the most likely explanation is far more mundane.
Studies have shown that people blink much less frequently than normal when concentrating on a computer screen and this can lead to tear evaporation and the eyes drying out – grittiness and redness being the classic symptoms of a dry eye. The problem will be compounded if your office is air conditioned – air conditioning lowers humidity accelerating the drying effect.
Solutions for dry eyes
Sitting a sensible distance away from your screen, taking regular breaks, and trying to remember to blink more should ease your symptoms. If these fail ask your pharmacist about lubricant eye drops.
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