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Mask Associated Dry Eye (MADE) and tips to help it

Post on 22nd October 2020

Wearing a face mask is a crucial part of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic – and they won’t be going away anytime soon. But as something many of us are still fairly new to wearing, face coverings are throwing up a few issues; like foggy glasses, maskne (acne caused by masks) and an increase in people suffering with dry eye.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is a common condition with millions of suffers worldwide. It’s caused when a person doesn’t make enough tears, or the tears that are produced evaporate too quickly and don’t spread evenly across the front of the eye – causing the eyes to become dry.

Signs of dry eye:

If you’re suffering from dry eye, you might experience;

– A scratching, burning, stinging or itching sensation in your eye(s)

– Sore or uncomfortable eyes

– Redness

– Watery eyes

– Blurred vision

Wearing a face mask can make dry eyes worse, as the air we breathe out is channeled above the mask and flows over the surface of our eye(s). This movement of air over the eye dries the tear film.

So we’ve put together a few tips to help with MADE (mask-associated dry eye);

Find a mask that fits well

One that is snug and tight to the face works best. If you can, find a mask with wire – it’ll help flatten the mask to your face and reduce the amount of breath that escape over your eyes.

Reduce screen time

The amount of time spent staring at screens is a well-known cause of dry eye. Now we’re all spending more time at home, using screens for work and pleasure, screen time has increased. Start practicing the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look at an object 20ft away for 20 seconds. It gives the eyes some time to relax. If you can get up and make a cuppa, even better!

Consider eye drops

It’s always best to see your Optician or GP, especially if your dry eye is quite severe. The optician will thoroughly examine your eyes, including checking the health of your eyes, and recommend products to help relieve dry eye symptoms.

Don’t leave it

Face masks are here for the long haul. If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms above, book an appointment and come and see us. We’ll help you find the right solution.

If you experience vision loss, book an emergency appointment with your Optician or GP.