Do you keep blinking? You may have symptoms of dry eye

Woman reading a book on the sofaBlinking is an essential function of the body that, like breathing, is naturally spontaneous. It cleans the surface of our eyes and spreads fresh tears over the eye surface.

Each blink also delivers nutrients to the eye surface, keeping it healthy, and also helping to keep the flow of tears from the tear duct washing over the eye, maintaining moisture.

In some cases, dryness can be felt if we blink less frequently, such as when we watch a movie, or read a book, for an extended period of time. It’s important to maintain a normal blink rate to prevent this from occurring, and we will look at how to here.


What Happens When We Blink?

Blinking is a rapid closing of the eyelid. It spreads tears across the surface of the eye and helps remove irritants too.

This prevents the eye from drying out, whilst also removing anything that could potentially damage the lipid layer of the eye.

The lipid layer seals moisture on the surface of the eye, any gaps in this can lead to a loss of moisture. Blinking also allows the eyelashes to catch dust before it reaches the eye itself.


The Importance of Blinking Regularly

Blinking allows the eye to redistribute the moisture at regular intervals. Without this, our eyes could become dry, and we risk having the protective lipid layer of the tear film getting disturbed by airborne irritants.

Therefore it’s important to increase blinking activity if you experience symptoms of dryness. The first method is reduced interaction with screens, as blinking over time is reduced by screen use.


How to remind yourself to Blink

Finding ways to take your eyes off the screen is important in helping restore your blink rate.

Taking regular breaks from your workstation is one way of preventing your eyes from focusing on one particular point, particularly if you go on to refill a glass of water on the way.

If you’re watching TV, a film or playing video games, then take the recommended breaks of 15 minutes every two hours to help your eyes recover. Blinking regularly again can help redistribute the tear film.

Finally, leave a little post-it note on your desk or PC with the word “blink!” on it, to help remind you to perform the action regularly.


Increasing Moisture

Optrex can help restore the levels of moisture in your eyes. If they feel of dry, tired or irritated, Optrex Intensive Eye Drops, can help by lubricating your eyes.

If symptoms persist, visit your doctor, pharmacist or optician to find out what could be the cause or for further advice about Optrex Intensive Eye Drops for dry eyes, please ask your pharmacist.