Great question and fluctuating vision is a common reason why patients schedule exams for glasses. Although you may need glasses there is a good chance that dryness is affecting your vision. When you blink, you are re-wetting your eyes and replacing your tears. Using artificial tears such as Systane Complete or Systane Balance 2-3x a day may help, but there are also some lifestyle changes you can make to help you out.
- Cosmetics: There are a variety of factors that can cause a disruption of your tear film. These include fragrances (if ingredients end in -ol there is an association with contact dermatitis), preservatives (keep bacteria out but can kill the good bacteria that protects your eyes), and bright colored pigments that contain metals. Try to go fragrance free, use more frequent replacement cosmetics that have less preservatives, and stick to brown or taupe shades vs extremely bright colors.
- Vaping: The vaping juice solvents are known to be toxic and carcinogenic. And, when exhaled, disrupt your tear film which can cause ocular surface disease, or dry eyes. Obviously, limiting exposure or smoking/vaping cessation is not only good for overall health, but it can help with eye dryness.
- Screen Time: We all know the feeling of having blurred vision after staring at a screen. What you may not realize is that part of this is from dryness, not just over-focusing. When we are on a screen we stare and our blink rate is cut in half. In addition, when we blink, it is a half blink and does not fully re-wet our eyes. Do this long enough and it will start to affect you long after you stop working on a screen.
- Sleep Issues: Sleeping with a fan blowing directly on your face or using a CPAP machine are notorious for causing dryness that lingers throughout the day. Turning off the fan or at least not directing it straight at your face is a simple solution. If you are using a CPAP machine, a thick viscous eye drop such as Refresh Celluvisc may provide a protective barrier overnight for your eyes.
Dryness and fluctuating vision is a common complaint in this digital era. Be aware of these other factors that may be affecting your vision. If you are ever in doubt, give our office a call or click here to schedule. We are happy to help!