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Masks Can Cause Dry Eye Symptoms!

Dr. Lynda Myles Local Dry Eye treatment center in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

At our eye clinic near you, we’ve been seeing an increasing number of patients who visit due to stinging eyes, redness and blurred vision – all classic signs of dry eye syndrome. While dry eye syndrome has always been a common reason to book an appointment with our optometrist near you, what’s new is that the dry eye symptoms seem to be caused by wearing masks.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sault Ste. Marie eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

What Is Prevent Blindness?

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness was established by volunteers to decrease the amount of preventable blindness in children. They helped to almost eliminate a condition called ophthalmia neonatorum, a leading cause of blindness in infants at the time.

How do masks lead to dry eyes?

If you’re wearing a mask and eyeglasses, every time you breathe it fogs up your lenses. Then they defog, only to fog up again with your next breath. Steamed-up glasses and the onset of dry eye symptoms is an emerging condition to be aware of. The main reason for promoting awareness of MADE is not to encourage anyone to stop wearing a mask, but rather, it’s to help people manage the eye irritation that may result – while continuing to don face masks.

When you breathe, you expel air over the top of your mask. This air flows over the surface of your eyes and can dry out the tear film that coats and lubricates your eye surface. It also speeds evaporation of tears.

In general, our eye doctor near you has found that mask wearing doesn’t trigger the onset of dry eye syndrome in people who don’t have it. Instead, it can worsen symptoms in people who already have the condition or are at high risk for it – such as people who spend a lot of time staring at computer screens. Nowadays, with all the working-from-home and Zoom meetings that occur, most people fall into the category of “at risk” for dry eye syndrome.

How can you prevent your mask from causing dry eye irritation?

  • Make sure your mask fits properly. A poorly fitting face covering increases the chances that exhaled air escapes from the top opening and flows over your eyes. Push the metal strip at the top margin of your mask so it fits snugly over the contour of your nose and cheekbones, blocking airflow.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. This habit can lead to a long list of problems, including micro-scratches in your cornea and swelling that can exacerbate the symptoms.
  • Don’t ignore dry eye symptoms. Pay attention to how your eyes feel and seek effective treatment, such as lubricating eye drops, from our optometrist near you.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Dr. Lynda Myles, your Sault Ste. Marie eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOLLOW US

Sault Ste. Marie Contact Lenses Supplier

Dr. Lynda Myles How Do I Know If Contact Lenses Are Right for Me?

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sault Ste. Marie eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Contact Lens exam in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Have you been wearing eyeglasses for years, but now, you can’t deal with the way your glasses fog up when wearing a face mask? Or were you just diagnosed with a vision condition and can’t figure out whether to choose contacts over glasses? Our eye doctor shares some facts to help you make the right decision for you.

Contacts Fit an Active Lifestyle

If you’re an athletic type and constantly on the move, glasses can shift or slip off your nose. Also, flying objects can hit your eyeglasses, breaking the lenses or frames and possibly causing an eye injury. Tell our optometrist about your lifestyle so we can fit you with the most appropriate type of contact lenses; we stock a wide variety of types in our modern eye clinic.

Hard vs. Soft Contact Lenses

Depending on your particular eye condition, our eye care professional will recommend either soft or hard contact lenses.

Soft contact lenses are certainly the more popular option nowadays. Made from silicone hydrogel, they allow a large quantity of oxygen to reach the eye. Soft lenses also come in various wearing schedules: daily disposables, bi-weekly disposables, and monthly disposables. The advantage of dailies is that you insert a fresh pair every morning, which drastically reduces the chances of eye infection, dryness and irritation.

When contact lenses first hit the market, they were available only as hard lenses. But the uncomfortable hard lenses of yesteryear bear little resemblance to today’s hard lenses – usually called rigid gas permeable lenses. These rigid GP contacts are often ideal for people who have an irregularly shaped cornea.

How to Reduce the Risks of Contact Lenses

Our eye doctor is careful to point out that anytime you insert something into your eye, you’re introducing the risk of infection. As we mentioned, daily disposables decrease the incidence of infection, but there are effective ways to lower your risks even if you wear a different type of lenses, such as:

    • Always wash your hands before touching your contacts or your eyes.
    • Follow proper hygiene by soaking your contacts in disinfectant overnight. Replace the solution entirely each day, and never use water to rinse or store them.
    • Replace your contact lens case every three to six months.
    • Don’t try to make your contacts last longer than the wearing schedule recommended by your optometrist. Discard them according to schedule.
    • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, unless directed to by your optometrist.
    • Use moisturizing artificial tears eye drops if you have dry eyes.

    What Type of Contact Lenses Are Best?

    That’s not a question that can be answered without an eye exam and advice from a qualified eye care provider. There are a wide range of types of contacts, such as soft, rigid gas permeable, toric, multifocal, monovision, scleral, hybrid and ortho-k lenses. Book a consultation at our eye clinic to learn more about the types of contact lenses suitable for your eyes.

    Contact lenses are medical devices, which means it is illegal to sell them without a prescription from an eye doctor. When not fitted properly to the shape and curvature of your eye, contacts can deprive your eyes of oxygen and cause infection. They can also lead to a sore on the surface of your eye, which can result in scarring and permanent vision loss. Well-fitting contact lenses allow tears to flow beneath the lenses, providing your eyes with essential oxygen and nutrients. Also, your eye care provider will provide instructions on how to insert, remove and care for your contact lenses responsibly.

    Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

    Dr. Lynda Myles, your Sault Ste. Marie eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

    FOLLOW US