dry eyes with mask

5 Easy ways to relieve dry eyes caused by wearing face masks

Dry eyes are painful. You will feel itchiness, stinging pain in your eyes. This will hamper your work and you will also not able to shut your eyes to relieve the pain. Dry eyes can also make your eyes sensitive to light. Every time you are in a brightly lit room, your eyes will start stinging. It is quite common to have dry eyes and so are the causes.

If you are having dry eyes, you should consult your doctor. You can get a free eye test in the UK with NHS for your dry eyes.

Causes of dry eyes

Dry eyes can be caused by multiple reasons. There are two primary reasons which cause dry eyes.

  • Decreased tear production

The production of tears in the tear glands or lacrymal glands decreases causing your eyes to get dry. This decrease can be because of aging, any medical conditions, allergies, medications like antihistamines, corneal nerve de-sensitivity, etc.

  • Increased tear evaporation

Dry eyes can be from an increase in the evaporation of tears. Your eyes get dry faster and sooner. This can be because of blepharitis, eyelid problems, or eye allergies. It can also occur from blinking less often, for instance when you are concentrating on computer screens or focussing on reading. It can also happen because of wind and smoke falling directly into your eyes.

How much wearing face masks can affect your eyes?

Not much. If you are wearing proper masks and wearing them properly, then this is not much of an issue. The air you breathe out gets on your eyes because of the gaps on your masks. Not having these gaps can stop this problem. The air that leaks out masks is only slightly responsible for your dry eyes. There might be other factors that are causing you to have dry eyes. If your mask is still the biggest contributor, you can try out these few easy steps to avoid getting dry eyes.

5 ways to relieve dry eyes

  • Use masks with a nose bridge – Use masks that have a nose bridge and mold into the shape of your nose when you press on them. These masks have a flexible wire on the nose bridge that changes shape according to the pressure. This kind of masks seal gaps above your nose and doesn’t let the air out. This will avoid it getting into your eyes and giving you dry eyes.
  • Use a tissue to seal the gaps  If your mask does not have a nose bridge then put a rolled tissue over your nose bridge. This will tighten your mask and seal all the gaps. You can also use medical tapes on the nose part to seal the gaps. This tape will not let your mask move out of place and expose gaps.
  • Double masks Wear two masks to make them fit on your face. Wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth. Wear a second mask over your mouth. This will seal all the gaps and leave no space for air to get out.
  • Fitting masks Wear proper and fitting masks. Get masks that cover your nose and mouth properly. It should fit well and not be loose on your face. Make sure to tighten the strings behind your ears if it is too loose. And press on the nose bridge to seal the gaps whenever you are wearing the mask. If you wear glasses, then wear your glasses after putting on the mask. This will tighten your mask and leave less gap for air to come out.
  • Tear solution You can use a tear solution to lubricate your eyes. You can lubricate your eyes after coming from work and lay down for a while after applying the tear solution to your eyes. This will relieve your eyes from eye pain and itchiness because of dry eyes.

Wraparound sunglasses

Another way to avoid dry eyes is by wearing wraparound sunglasses. This will make sure that wind or smoke does not get into your eyes. Also, good quality sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sunlight. Wearing polarised sunglasses will cut the glare of the sun and protect your eyes from the harsh sunlight. With an additional UV coating, you can protect your eyes from the UV rays as well. This in turn will protect your eyes from getting dry. If your eyes are well protected from the sun, wind, smoke, dust and dirt etc, your eyes will not get dry easily.

Also, if you work for long hours in front of a computer, you have more probability of getting dry eyes. Working on computers requires concentration and when you concentrate you hardly blink. Blinking your eyes will moisten your eyes and keep them lubricated. 

You can get blue light glasses when buying your new prescription glasses online. These glasses will relieve your eyes from eye strain caused by blue light emission from desktops or computers. This in turn will prevent dry eyes. 

Most blue light glasses can block up to 90 per cent of blue light emission. This work effectively in reducing the strain of your eyes and dry eyes. Also this help in regulating the sleep cycle of your body.

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