The on-going pandemic is making people realize and value their health. The attack on immunity by coronavirus implies that the best way to prevent COVID-19 is by improving their health. One big concern during this stay at home period is the dry eye disease which is at rising these days.
People are spending hours and hours in front of TV screens, laptops, and phone screens. As the virus has kept everyone inside, many people have started working from home and others are trying to pass time watching TV shows. What they don’t know is that increased screen time is adding a big risk to their eye health which is showing as the dry eye cases have drastically increased in the last few months.
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The 42 years old, Melanie Yarger first experienced visionary problems nearly four hours ago. At first, she felt her eyes are itchy and she is not able to see clearly which is common with age. But when this problem becomes persistent, she had to get medical help and was diagnosed with dry eye disease.
People often wonder what causes this disease and how to know if they have it. The medical community has no clear answer to this as there is no obvious reason behind the dryness in the eyes. Aging is a natural part of life and with a decline in age, everybody functions including the vision and eye structure is impaired.
But what has increased the risk of this disease is sticking to the screens which are common during this pandemic. Spending hours in front of the screens puts an additional strain on the eyes. Be it a laptop screen or phone screen, the increased screen time is damaging the eye structure and function thus adding risk for certain diseases.
The American Journal of Ophthalmology shares a report telling at least 16 million people in the US is living with dry eye disease. For some reason, women are more likely to have it as compared to men. And this risk increases with age.
Dr. Preeya K. Gupta is an ophthalmologist from Duke Health. She says that dryness in the eyes is something highly common but not all patients are diagnosed. Normally, dryness is experienced when a person ages mainly because of the increasing age. But with the changed lifestyle especially after the pandemic, the risk factors are doubled.
Now people are coming reporting unconventional symptoms for eye dryness. For example, they feel their vision is blurred which is not something typically associated with dry eyes. It is necessary to seek medical help and never try self-medication based on the symptoms.
It is possible for the symptoms to change or vary in every patient which is why only an expert ophthalmologist can diagnose it. People often consult Google and often misdiagnose themselves which increases the risk of eye damage.
Doctors, on the other side, expect people to see them on time before the disease causes some permanent damage. Also, at primary stages, most medicines work better as the efficiency of treatment decreases as this disease progresses.