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Face Masks Associated With Increase in Dry Eye Symptoms

Center For Sight Offers Relief

Guess what? A new study published in Ophthalmology and Therapy has found that wearing face masks has been associated with ocular irritation and dry eye symptoms. Um, enough already, 2020. No, really.

Thanks to the COVID-19 world health pandemic, face masks have become a part of everyone’s daily attire as people all over the world have had to get used to wearing one on the regular. For some professions like education, healthcare and even hospitality, workers must wear a mask for the entirety of their work shift. Add that to having to wear it in the grocery store and every other store for that matter, and that’s a lot of daily face mask use.

Opinions about the efficacy of face mask usage are plentiful, and that’s not what we want to talk about. But as a board-certified ophthalmologist with years of experience, Dr. Eva Liang does have some useful information to share and strategies to suggest about face masks as they relate to your eyes and your vision.

“We have started asking our patients how their eyes feel while wearing a face mask. From foggy glasses to dry eye symptoms, we have some great solutions that can help.”

—Dr. Eva Liang, founder of Center For Sight

Why Do Face Masks Irritate Your Eyes?

All that hot air has to go somewhere! When wearing a face mask, the air you breathe out is channeled upward, out the top of your face mask and over the surface of your eyes. If you’re wearing glasses or sunglasses, you already know what happens; foggy glasses! We have a solution for the face mask fog bog!

If you’ve been thinking about LASIK, now is actually a great time to rid yourself of the hassles of glasses and contacts, giving you one less thing to worry about! At Center For Sight, we are taking every precaution to safely serve our surgical patients.

But even if you’re not wearing glasses with your mask, this exhaled air can have a negative impact on your eyes. The movement of the air over your eyes can cause your tears to evaporate more quickly, leaving the surface of the eye dry. After a long day of mask-wearing, your eyes can feel dry, gritty, irritated, watery and fatigued.

Solutions for Face Mask Eye Irritation

The first thing we recommend you do if you experience eye irritation after prolonged face mask use is to make sure your mask fits well and doesn’t have a large gap at the top. Try the kind that has the moldable nose bar. Beyond that, lubricating eye drops may help relieve symptoms temporarily, but we always recommend seeing your eye doctor about which types of drops to use, as some over-the-counter varieties can make symptoms worse.

With more people working and learning remotely, it is always good to remember to be mindful of your screen time, as this can irritate already dry eyes as well. We recommend the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from looking at the screen and focus on something 20 feet away.

Say Goodbye to Las Vegas Dry Eye

In a dry eye evaluation at Center For Sight’s Advanced Dry Eye Center, one of our board-certified doctors will perform diagnostic testing, which includes ocular allergy testing to evaluate your unique ocular surface condition and discover the source of your dry eye symptoms. This is an important diagnostic step because chronic dry eye symptoms can be similar to those caused by seasonal allergies and even some infections. Proper testing helps us determine the best course of treatment for you.

There are a variety of treatment options for treating dry eye ranging from eye drops to certain specially designed contact lenses and more. The severity and root cause of your dry eye will determine which treatment is right for you.

The physicians of Center For Sight recommend LipiFlow for many patients dealing with dry eye. In addition, eye drops, prescription medications, blinking exercises, punctal plugs, eyelid scrubs and warm compresses are all recommended to treat dry eye depending upon the severity of the condition.

Discover the 20/Happy Advantage

Why not finish your 2020 with the opportunity to have 20/20 vision? We can help! LASIK at Center For Sight offers freedom. Freedom from the restrictions of glasses and contacts, and freedom to live your life the way you want to live it, with the vision you deserve. If you’re ready to reach for your own 20/20 in 2020, let’s talk. Schedule your free, no-obligation LASIK consultation at Center For Sight today.

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