Ophthalmologist Says Face Masks Cause Dry Eye Problems



HONOLULU (KHON2) – Health officials are finding that working from home and living in this “new normal” has taken a physical toll on many people. KHON2 spoke to experts who share some useful tips.

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The owner of Eyesight Hawaii told KHON2 he has seen an increase in the number of patients with eye discomfort, which he says has a lot to do with dry eyes. Sometimes people forget to blink when looking at the screen. It is a problem that plagued individuals even before the pandemic.

“Their eyes just feel tired, rough and, you know, intermittent blurry vision with all this time spent in front of the computer, with all this time spent in front of the screen,” said Eyesight Hawaii owner Dr. John Olkowski.

One recommendation is to look away from the device every 20 minutes and blink for 20 seconds. Dr Olkowski says he also sees a lot of dry eyes caused by wearing a mask. This happens when air comes out of the top of the mask towards the eyes.

“Some things you can do. One is, again, to treat dry eyes. Treat the sebaceous glands to protect the tears. And then… put on a piece of duct tape so that the air does not swell and dry out the eyes, ”says Dr Olkowski.

The owner of the Zen Heatlh Center told KHON2 that more and more people have arrived with neck, shoulder and lower back pain related to working from home.

“We don’t have the ideal desktop setup, where I have the right monitor height, the right keyboard height,” said Zen Health Center owner Dr. Hong Zeng Yuen-Schat, also known as name of “Dr. Zen.”

Dr Zen also says some probably don’t have the support a traditional computer chair offers, but a pillow behind the back and binder under the feet might do the trick.

To stretch the neck, Dr. Zen recommends turning your head at a 45-degree angle and tilting it toward the ear with one hand. He says to try for 10 seconds, 10 times before lunch.

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