Sunday, January 15, 2012

Computer Use, Dry Eyes & Eyestrain

Question: I had LASIK done 12 years ago and have not had one problem. It's been great. My new job requires me to be on the computer for 8 hours a day with some breaks but I am finding that my eyes are so dry, blurry and sensitive all of a sudden. Is the computer related to my issues I am having? Should I just use artificial tears?


Answer: LASIK does in fact cause dry eyes in the first several months after you have the procedure. The fact that you have changed jobs and intensified the amount of computer work and now have dry eyes is pretty indicative of the common complaints about computer use, dry eyes and eyestrain. There are some important things to know about computer and video display terminal use, your eyes and eyestrain. Staring at your computer screen, video game or other digital devices for long periods causes your eyes may feel dry and tired. Normally, you blink about 18 times a minute, but only blink half that often while using computers and other digital screen devices, whether for work or play. Reading, writing or other intensive “near work” can also cause eyestrain and dryness of a similar nature. Use the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. It is also helpful to use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry. Make sure that you take regular breaks from computer work, and be sure to get enough sleep at night. If the behavioral changes don't help with the dry eyes then see your eye doctor for a dry eye consultation as perhaps there are some other options that might enhance your tear film quantity and/or quality such as punctal plugs or even prescription eye drops called Restasis.

Important Note: The information presented on the See With LASIK Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask LASIK Surgeons section on www.seewithlasik.com is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to LASIK. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask LASIK Surgeons section of www.seewithlasik.com is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and LASIK surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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