Office screen work linked to dry eye syndrome

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“Staring at computer screens all day ‘changes your eyes’, scientists say,”. This follows reports that people who stare at a computer screen experience changes in their tear fluid that are typical of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome (also known as dry eye disease).

Dry eye syndrome is a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears. This, in turn, can cause eye pain and irritation.

This latest study involved 96 office workers in Japan. They were assessed for signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome, and questioned on the amount of time they spent in front of a visual display terminal (VDT).

Only very few (9%) met the criteria for dry eye syndrome, but a much greater proportion had signs and symptoms of dry eyes.

There was found to be an association between work time spent using a computer screen and dry eyes.

However, it’s important to note that although the study has demonstrated an association, it cannot prove causation. Therefore, we cannot definitely say that using computers caused these symptoms.

It is also important to note that this was a very small sample, of just 96 people.

If you regularly use a computer, make sure your computer workstation is set up correctly to minimise eye strain. Your screen should stand at eye level, or just below it. It is also advisable to look away from the screen every five minutes for a few seconds and take a few blinks.
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