My work entails to be online most of the time, 8 hours maximum in a day.

But lately I have notice after 2 hours of viewing, I have to take a 10-15 minute break to rest my eyes just to keep it going.

When an invite came in for Novartis, I would like to be oriented what is happening to my eyes where I also availed their eye check-up.

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The result?

I have Dry Eyes Syndrome – DES also known as dry eye disease or simply dry eyes.

I’m not alone.

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One reason for the rapid rise in the number of cases of dry eye disease over the last few years is thought to be prolonged visual display terminal (VDT) exposure because of widespread use of Internet-based mobile technology and portable information terminals, especially smartphones, among all age groups.

“When we work at a computer or use our smartphone or other portable digital device, we tend to blink our eyes less frequently. This leads to greater tear evaporation and increased risk of DES,” said Dr. Richard L. Nepomuceno, Cornea and External Eye Disease Specialist.

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DES is a common condition that occurs when your tears are unable to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons.

For example, dry eyes may occur if you don’t produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears.

DES signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:

  • a stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • stringy mucus in or around your eyes;
  • sensitivity to light;
  • eye redness;
  • a sensation of having something in your eyes;
  • difficulty wearing contact lenses;
  • difficulty with nighttime driving; watery eyes;
  • blurred vision or eye fatigue.

To help prevent DES among who spend long hours online, experts recommend the “20-20-20 rule”:

Look away from the computer/ smartphone/portable digital device screen every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away, and look at it for at least 20 seconds.

Dr. Nepomuceno also recommends the use of artificial tears, such as Systane Ultra Lubricating Eyedrops to lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes.

Developed by the Novartis eye care division Alcon, Systane Ultra Lubricating Eyedrops are clinically proven to deliver extended protection and high-performance dry eye symptom relief that lasts.

As of now, I have to give it a try and let’s see if my eyes will improve using Systane Ultra.

For more information, visit novartis.com.ph or check them via Facebook.com/SystanePH or follow @systaneph on Instagram.