Computers have become inseparable from the modern workplace. Although computers seemingly make work easier, they come with their own set of challenges. One major problem when dealing with computers is eye strain otherwise referred to as CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome). Here we’ll try to find out if eye-drops can reduce computer impact and how. Similarly, we’ll look at some natural remedies we can make ourselves and whether they can replace the eye-drops.
According to Dr Penny Asbell, it is very common to experience eye discomfort and irritation during and after the use of a computer. Here are some of the various possible symptoms:
- Eye dryness and twitches
- Double vision
- Irritated eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Excessive secretion of tears
- Light sensitivity
- Slow changes in focus
- Changing colour perception
Who should use eye-drops?
Eye-drops are usually recommended for patients suffering from all the symptoms mentioned above.
However, not all are necessarily the result of CVS. They may be underlying symptoms of other medical conditions, degenerative diseases, and external causes. Therefore, you should also seek professional doctor diagnosis to determine the cause and possible treatment for your unique case.
Eye-drops reduce eye strain
According to Dr Ken Kreidl, MD (Ophthalmologist at Boulder Medical Center) eye-drops do help reduce eye strain from a computer. Studies show that using computers for long hours significantly reduces the blink rate from 14 times per minute to only 5 times. This may result in dry eyes, irritation, and fatigue. Therefore, eye-drops can effectively treat these symptoms. As Dr Ken states, the best eye-drops are lubricating drops (artificial tears or moisturizing drops).
In other words, lubricating drops increase the amount of tear secreted from your eyes. Our tears contain oil, water, and mucus. They also include nutrients, oxygen, and antibodies to protect your eyes. So, using lubricating drops naturally induces tear secretion which in turn cures symptoms such as dry eyes, irritation, fatigue, and blurriness.
Eye-drops are available over the counter and come in different formulations. Some of the common ingredients found in commercial eye-drops include:
- Polyvinyl alcohol
- Polyethylene glycol
- Propylene glycol
- Carboxymethyl cellulose
- Mineral oil
No single eye-drop formula is best for everyone. Most ophthalmologists will recommend you try different lubricating drops to determine the ingredients that work for your eyes. Universally known super lubricants such as glycerin have been shown to work best for most patients. Nonetheless, you would still need a doctor’s perspective and diagnosis to cure the eye-related issues properly.
Eye-drops or natural remedies?
Although commercially available eye-drops help reduce eye strain from the computer, not all products you come across will be effective. There is little research on the impact of computers on the human eye yet and most commercial eye-drops are provided for symptoms that come from other medical conditions. Some ophthalmologists have studied contemporary alternative medicine (CAM) and suggest the use of homemade eye-drops for computer-induced strain. However, more research is required. Keeping drops safe and free from home contaminants is very crucial to the success of any homemade solution.
As aforementioned, dryness is the main reason for eye strain resulting from computers. Reduced blink rate slows the secretion of tears causing your eyes to dry and soar. The natural alternatives to eye-drops can help relieve symptoms such as dry eyes, irritation, redness and puffy eyes. Some of the popular ingredients include:
a)Castor oil: eye emulsions extracted from castor oil have been shown to produce stable tear film that can last up to 4 hours.
b)Coconut oil: some studies on rats indicate that coconut oil is safe for the human eye. However, the results may not be as effective as commercial drops and coconut oil absorbs a lot of contaminating particles from the outside.
c)Omega 3 and 6: integrating more omega 3 and omega 6 in your diet can help solve your eye problems.
bonus)Juice of ground potato: Potatoes are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and fibre. Put the ground potatoes in the cheesecloth and leave it on your eyes while lying for around 10 minutes. It greatly reduces eye strain, redness and fatigue.
Although natural alternatives may provide some relief, the safest way is to use over the counter eye-drops. You can also incorporate omega 3, flaxseed oil and gamma linoleic acid servings to your diet. Generally, eating more citrus, whole grains, nuts, fish and leafy greens can help improve your optical health.
Eye-drops can reduce dryness and irritation caused by staring too long at the screen. If you suspect computer use is the reason behind your eye problems, then lubricating drops can be used to remedy the situation. Nonetheless, you should seek a professional recommendation from a qualified eye doctor to rule out other causes. More importantly, purchase the drops from credible and reputable drug stores.