Dry Eyes Are a Bigger Deal Than You Think
Now that we stare at computer screens all day and are chained to our smartphones, dry, itchy, watery eyes are becoming increasingly common. If you notice dry eyes once in a while, don’t sweat it. But a couple of times a week, or even daily? Definitely get that checked out by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. It could be dry-eye disease, an irritating condition that can cause blurry vision, eye pain, headaches, dizziness, and even weakened immunity. A British study from this fall found that about 10 percent of adults have this disease — and it’s especially common among 20- to 30-year-olds, who tend to log a lot of screen time.
Luckily, dry-eye disease is easily treatable with medicated eye drops or artificial tears. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, trout, flaxseeds, and fish oil supplements, can also help with dry-eye disease, says Dr. Rachel Bishop, an ophthalmologist with the National Eye Institute. And it never hurts to take blinking breaks while you’re working long hours or watching a movie. “Every 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds and blink repeatedly,” Bishop says. “This reduces strain on the eye muscles caused by focusing on one thing constantly.”
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