GREAT NECK, NY – Between lots of time spent staring at a computer screen or mobile device and the wintry wind and cold air, many people are experiencing dry eyes.
“A normal, healthy eye has a healthy tear film that covers the cornea and that allows for comfort and good vision,” said Anne Steiner, MD, director of the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Ocular Surface Center in Great Neck. “And dry eyes occur when that film isn’t sufficient anymore.”
People who have dry eyes may also experience blurred vision, light sensitivity, a feeling that there’s something in your eye and tearing, Dr. Steiner says.
“There are many, many causes of dry eyes,” Dr. Steiner said. “There are some underlying rheumatologic diseases that are associated with dry eyes. Women tend to have more hormonal pre-disposition to dry eyes as well. There are environmental triggers. We’re all on the computer now; we’re all staring at screens. That causes dry eyes. Reading causes dry eyes. High air flow, so if you’re inside with a lot of air conditioning or heating, and especially in this weather now with the cold wind, that can also cause dry eyes.”
Dr. Steiner said over-the-counter artificial tears may provide some relief for people. If they do not, medical attention can be sought.