The fact that many of us lead lives that are fairly dependent on technology is something that most of us would readily agree upon. But, that it demands so much of our attention – even making us forget to blink is a definite head turner of a news. A report by the Daily Mail throws light on an increasingly common, and worrying eye condition called the dry eye, which is caused by constant staring at one’s screen, then be it of one’s desktop computer, smartphones or the latest fad – tablets! The report's suggesting that more and more people now find themselves struggling with this condition of the eye called 'dry eye', which results in a nagging itchy, gritty feeling in the eyes, sometimes even making them inflamed. Medical experts would tell you that the dry eye syndrome, also referred to as keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a fairly common eye condition, wherein eyes fail to lubricate (form tears) adequately, thereby causing them to grow swollen, to redden.
Blinking is key! (Image credit: Getty Images)
The report further adds that while using such devices, one tends to focus to the point of forgetting to blink, which then impacts the eye's lubrication system. Explaining the situation further, the report added that while we usually blink 12-15 times a minute, it drops down seven or eight a minute, while working away on a computer.
Quoting Dr.Christine Purslow, Director of the contact lens and anterior eye research unit at Cardiff University, the report stated, “We normally blink 12-15 times a minute, but using a computer screen can cut this to seven or eight a minute.This leaves the tear film – the lubricating substance that protects the surface of the eye – not working properly. As a nation we are getting older, which means the proportion suffering age-related dry eye is increasing, where the tear film over the surface of the eye deteriorates with age. But younger people are experiencing problems because of the modern office, with computers and air conditioning making it worse, as well as home use of display screens.“
With technology advancing so speedily, instances of individuals spending a lot of their time browsing through their tablets, smartphones, desktops; conditions as such are only going to get more common among people. Only way out is to use common methods, like taking frequent short breaks to move your focus to other things, making a deliberate effort at blinking more normally, among other things.