PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Ophthalmologist Charles Bahn MD
, treats patients with a wide variety of eye problems. One common condition that he sees is dry eye syndrome. People come in with dry, itchy eyes and are looking for a way to prevent the problem and relieve their symptoms. A recent article on Fox News reveals that air conditioning and technology play a large part in this condition. Charles Bahn, MD, discusses simple ways to help alleviate the problem.
Dry, itchy eyes are not the only symptoms that occur with dry eye. Patients can also experience irritation, burning, red eyes, blurred vision, and the feeling that there is something in the eye. These conditions can make it more difficult for one to focus and get their work done, or participate in activities they enjoy. Many people experience these symptoms while at the office, and as it turns out, air conditioning and screen time are in part to blame.
To study these effects, researchers conducted a study on 12 healthy adults. Participants were exposed to either a "normal" environment or a "dry" environment. The temperature in both was 70 degrees, but the normal environment had a humidity level of 40 percent, while the dry environment's was only five percent. Participants in the dry environment developed dry eye symptoms within an hour. Dr. Christopher Gelston, an assistant professor in the University of Colorado-Denver's department of ophthalmology explains the danger of dry eye, reveling, "If left untreated, the syndrome could lead to eye infections and cornea scarring."
So what can people do to prevent these symptoms when working in the office or other dry environments? Because the circulation of air from the air conditioning can cause tears to evaporate faster and dry out eyes, try to take a break and get outside. When possible, eat lunch outside so that the humidity in the environment can help moisturize eyes. It is also a good idea to take a break from staring at the computer screen. When people become fixated on their screens, they tend to blink less often, another factor that can lead to drier eyes. Looking away from the computer periodically and focusing on something else can stimulate more blinking. Similarly, people should limit the amount of free time they spend checking their phones. This is another source of screen time that reduces blinking and puts more strain on the eyes.
Consider investing in a humidifier. This can add moisture to the air and help to keep eyes from drying out too quickly. If it is not possible to bring one to work, have it at home. It will still help eyes to feel better. Alternating between contact lenses and glasses can help as well. Contacts rely on moisture on the eyes to move smoothly, but when that moisture is lacking, it can cause friction and irritation. While eye drops can provide temporary relief, if the problem persists, seek out professional help.
"While air conditioning and screen time can contribute to dry eye, there are also medical issues that can cause this condition," explains Charles Bahn, MD. "Eye doctors can examine the eyes to determine the cause of dry eye and recommend appropriate treatment or preventative measures." Charles Bahn, MD, reminds patients to have their eyes examined every two to four years or more often if they are experiencing problems.
Charles Bahn MD
, is an experienced ophthalmologist who runs his own practice in Bethesda, Maryland. He specializes in treating cornea and external diseases of the eye as well as glaucoma. Focused on improving the eye health of patients, he offers both medical and surgical treatments to provide comprehensive care. He holds degrees from Tulane University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.