Dry eyes on the increase; doctors blame visual media

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a type of dry eye condition, has been reported in larger numbers in recent times due to increasing exposure to computer and mobile screens.

Social media apart, staying glued to the mobile screen after working hours, watching YouTube videos, Netflix and Amazon Prime is affecting both the quality of life and eyes.

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a type of dry eye condition, has been reported in larger numbers in recent times due to increasing exposure to computer and mobile screens.

Dr Rohit Shetty, corneal and refractive surgeon, Narayana Nethralaya Eye Institute, said the number of MGD cases in the out-patients department has increased from 35% to 58% in the past five years. “Continuous exposure to visual media for about 11 to 13 hours a day along with watching videos on the phone has increased the incidences of MGD. Patients with MGD have a background of working in front of the computer and then browse and watch videos on the phone after work. Many patients have been using the phone late in the night, which has made their eyes dull and tiring,” Dr Shetty said.

IT professional Megana uses the computer for nearly eight to 10 hours and communicates with family and friends on WhatsApp and Facebook apps on her mobile phone. “My doctor has prescribed lubricants for my MGD, without which I can’t even blink,” she said. Dr Raghu Nagaraju, senior consultant, cornea and refractive, Dr Agarwal Eye Hospital, said that they have seen MGD even among cab drivers who have to drive an air conditioned car constantly.

“Of the 150 OPD patients that we see, at least 30% of the patients have MGD,” he said. Meibomian glands, named after the German doctor, produces an oil called meibum. This meibum, water, and mucus form the three layers of the tear film, the fluid that keeps your eyes moist. The oil helps prevent the water layer on the eye surface from drying out.

MGD causes pain, dark circles and redness in the eyes that result in fatigue, and this, in turn, affects the mental and physical health of an individual. When eyes are exposed to atmosphere air conditioning When there is high level of pollution at workplace Constantly watching visual media without blinking.

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Dry eyes on the increase; doctors blame visual media

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