Lockdown, Lifestyle & Dry Eye Disease

Due to the global pandemic, most of us have been able to work from home following our government guidelines. But what impact has this had on our lifestyle? As a result of working from home, many people have spent more time in front of screens.

As we spend more time in front of screens, we reduce our blink rate by up to 60% which can lead to dry eye symptoms.[1] A recent study by the College of Optometrists highlights that 22% of people noticed their vision worsening during lockdown, and 32% believe spending more time in front of screens has worsened their vision. [2]

Here are some useful tips for reducing screen associated dry eye:

  1. Take regular breaks from digital activity to relieve irritated eyes.
    Take regular breaks to rest your eyes from digital screens [1] and reduce dry eye symptoms. One technique in ensuring this is the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You can also compliment this by doing eye exercises.
  2. Using a humidifier can prevent dry eye symptoms.
    If you’re in a dry environment for long periods of time, such as in a heated or air-conditioned room, consider using a humidifier to stop the air getting dry.[1]
  3. Itchy eyes? Wear your glasses.
    If you’re a contact lens wearer, you may find it beneficial to wear your glasses to give your eyes a rest.[1]
  4. Blink!
    As we stare at screens, our blink rate is reduced. Blinking lubricates the eye and thickens the lipid layer of our tear film, reforming the tear layer and reducing dry eye symptoms such as itchy or irritated eyes.[3]
  5. Use a lubricating eye drop to relieve dry eye symptoms.
    Use an eye drop.[4] Eye drops can provide lubrication to the eye to relieve dry eye sensations. To find out more about dry eye drops and their benefits, visit


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  1. NHS Dry Eyes, Accessed March 2021
  2. The College of Optometrists, Accessed March 2021
  3. Centre of Ocular Research and Education, Accessed March 2021
  4. Evinger, C. et al. Dry Eye, Blinking, and Blepharospasm. Mov Disord. 2002; 17(Suppl 2): S75–S78


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