Experts from the University Optics & Audiology of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona, ​​warned this Tuesday of increased dry eye syndrome due to the pandemic due to the excessive use of computers and electronic devices.

In order to sensitize the population about this problem and to offer tools for its prevention, the technical and training director of University Optics & Audiology, Alicia Escuer, advised to avoid touching the eyes with fingers limit screen usage time according to age and maintain good personal hygiene.

More of five million Spaniards 11% of the population suffer from dry eye syndrome, one of the main causes of visits to the ophthalmologist. However, only 45% of them have been diagnosed and receive adequate treatment.

Caused by poor lubrication and hydration of the eye –When there is not enough quantity of tear or it is not of good quality– dry eyes causes discomfort that affects day-to-day life, such as irritation, stinging, redness, a burning sensation or not being able to remove small particles or microorganisms that enter the eye and maintain good vision.

Main solutions

“For mild cases of dry eye caused by computer use, reading, school work, and other exogenous causes, the best treatment is simply to use, on a frequent basis, artificial tears or other lubricating drops for the eyes, “he advised Escuelas.

In addition, he also stressed the importance of force blink for short periods of time, as this gesture helps to regulate the hydration and dryness of the eyes, aspects that are affected by the use of screens or while reading.

He also recommended the use of specific filters for screens and the use of sunglasses with approved lenses, even in winter or on cloudy days, as well as avoiding environments with pollution, tobacco smoke or excessive air conditioning or heating.

At all ages

“Dry eye syndrome usually affects people over 50 years old, due to the direct relationship it has with hormonal changes. These changes cause the tear quality of the eye to be lower and less constant ”explained this expert. It is for this reason that menopausal women are the most affected by the syndrome, although it can occur at any age.

Systemic diseases, such as diabetes or those related to the thyroid, and the use of some medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, or birth control pills, are other common causes and that therefore increase the predisposition to suffer this syndrome.