We live in a digital era. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning until the time we close them at night, we’re glued to our smartphones, tablets, televisions, computer screens, or other digital devices
According to a Nielsen report published in March 2019, US adults spent an average of 10.5 hours per day in 2018 interacting with digital media on an increasing number of different platforms.
Although these numbers may seem alarming, a bigger concern is the growing percentage of Canadians at risk of digital eye strain, clinically known as computer vision syndrome.
Think about your screen time: do you spend more than two hours a day on social media, surfing the web, online gaming? If so, your eyes might be screaming for some TLC.
When we focus on a digital screen for long periods, we generally don’t blink as often as we should. As a result, the eyes tend to dry out.
Roughly 30 percent of Canadians experience ocular symptoms associated with dry eye, such as burning, itchy, red eyes; fatigue; and headaches. Dry eyes often mean your tear system is out of whack, which can cause your body to send a flood of tears to compensate for the dryness.
We can’t put all the blame on our digital devices. There are numerous other factors such as air conditioning, overheating, medications, age, pollution, systemic disorders, effects from laser eye surgery, and contact lenses.
Eye drops to the rescue
Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops will help keep the surface of your eyes moist.
Euphrasia, or eyebright, is a small white flower with streaks of purple and a spot of yellow in the centre that has been used for centuries to treat eyes. It boasts a plethora of potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral, which help to protect and nourish the eyelid.
Hyaluronic acid is a type of polysaccharide, known as hyaluronan, that is naturally found within our bodies. Its main purpose is to help retain and replenish moisture. In fact, it has been said that 1 g of hyaluronic acid is capable of holding as much as 1 L of water! As an ingredient in eye drops, it is said to help form and maintain a liquid layer in the eye, which is intended to protect, refresh, and moisturize the eyes.
Two ingredients to avoid are preservatives or phosphates, which may make dry eyes worse. Some people are allergic to preservatives, and others may find that they irritate their eyes.
Krista Halton has worked in the health industry for more than 12 years. Her wealth of knowledge and passion for the industry are what drive her to educate Canadians on natural alternatives for healing.