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Coping with Dry Eye in an Office Environment

Ideas and suggestions for surviving at work with chronic dry eye

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU... everyone on Dry Eye Talk who has shared ideas about how to manage at the office.

Do you have a favorite tip for coping with chronic dry eyes at work? Please email us and we'll add it to the list!

  • Take breaks! Don't overdo it. Take breaks to give your eyes a rest.
  • If possible keep your eyes closed for a little while now and then, such as during phone calls.
  • Use warm compresses or cool compresses (ice gel pack, or simply a bag of ice & water) during a break if possible.
  • Drink LOTS OF WATER and fewer caffeinated beverages.
  • Don't forget to consult the human resources department (if applicable). In many cases they can be an important asset in getting accommodations made for your needs. Be assertive in speaking up about your needs. Explain your diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms. Completing an OSDI questionnaire and showing your score may be helpful in communicating what you are struggling with.
  • Fluorescent lights, and any overly bright light causing excessive reflection, can be a problem for people with dry eye due to photosensitivity.
  • Try to make light adjustments (such as removing fluorescent bulbs immediately overhead) that will reduce brightness and minimize reflection on computer screens or other surfaces.
  • Vents: Try to make sure you're seated well away from any vents if at all possible. Or, ask to have vents redirected or (if necessary) closed.
  • Humidifier: If you have sufficient space to yourself you may be able to install a humidifier.
  • Anti-glare screen or filter: Cuts down on reflected light to make computer use more comfortable
  • Angle of monitor: Try adjusting your monitor so that it is as low as possible and so you are looking slightly down at it rather than straight across or (worst) up. Looking down reduces total eye surface exposure, hence tear evaporation.
  • Blink frequently: Make a conscious effort to blink more often. Blink rates decrease dramatically when using the computer and this effect causes dry eye symptoms even in people who do not have dry eye disease - how much more those who do! Use our handy blinkers.
  • Lubricate: Keep eyedrops handy and lubricate as needed.
  • Anything may be better than nothing: Anything in front of the eyes is going to reduce airflow across the eyes at least somewhat and therefore may have some useful effect of lessening tear evaporation and irritation.
  • Plano glasses: Even if you don't normally wear glasses, a nice looking pair of frames with a no-prescription lens may be an aesthetically acceptable way to get a little boost.
  • Acrylic sheath: There are several products available to cover the area at the sides of your glasses to prevent moisture loss. Check out our eyewear page and talk to your optician.
  • Panoptx: Panoptx has very expensive wraparound eyewear (for examples see this link) but for many people are well worth the investment as they dramatically reduce airflow and evaporation. They can be obtained with prescription, even bifocal.
more articles on living with dry eye

Pain management

Protecting dry eyes at night

Travelling with dry eyes

Depression and anxiety


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