MGD and Evaporative Dry Eye – Likely The Most Common Form of Dry Eye, particularly in our patients over 60. In fact, MGD may be the most common age-related eye problem, notes Dr. Alan N. Carlson of the Duke Eye Center. See below a recently published article that addresses this problem.
Although there are several effective therapeutic treatments for ocular surface disease, it is still important to discuss environmental factors that can contribute to dry eye.
One of the key environmental contributors to dry eye is frequent computer use. Patients who use a computer for more than two hours a day often may have dry eye effects. This association likely is caused by a reduced blink rate and perhaps less meibum movement.¹
Here are several fundamental suggestions for frequent computer users who suffer from dry eye:
· Instruct patients to keep the computer monitor below eye level.
· Suggest that patients take periodic breaks.
· Have patients instill an artificial tear or dry eye medication, such as cyclosporine or loteprednol, prior to computer use.
· Keep a bottle of artificial tears near the computer and use prior to symptom development.
· Ensure that no air conditioning vents or fans are blowing directly toward the patient’s face.
Environmental factors play a significant role in dry eye disease. Patients need to be made aware of these contributing factors, so they can do their own part in managing symptoms. Nonetheless, it is our job to educate patients about these contributing factors and suggest ways to alleviate them.
1. Pimenidi MK, Polunin GS, Safonova TN. Meibomian gland disfunction in computer vision syndrome. Vestn Oftalmol. 2010 Nov-Dec;126(6):49-52.