If you have an eight-hour job, you probably know how bad it is for the eyes to stare at the monitor for these many hours. A new study warns that these can lead to symptoms that are similar to that of dry eye disease.
Tear fluid, which protects as well as lubricates the eye contains a certain protein called MUC5AC; this protein gets secreted by specialized cells in the upper eyelid. Researchers have found that the level of MUC5AC in the tears of those people who stare at the computers for long periods tend to be almost as low as in those people who are suffering from dry eye disease.
Those people who stare at screens tend to also open their eyelids wider when looking at the screen compared to doing other tasks and this extra exposed surface area in addition to infrequent blinking can lead to tear evaporation and is also associated with dry eye disease.
Dr. Yuichi Uchino, ophthalmologist at the School of Medicine at Keio University in Tokyo, said, “Office workers who are worried about dry eye can make some simple changes to decrease the risk of disease. The exposed ocular surface area can be decreased by placing the terminal at a lower height”.
The researchers, who did the study, sampled tears from eyes of 96 Japanese office workers i.e. roughly two-thirds of which were men. They later measured the concentration of MUC5AC proportional to the total amount of protein in the tears.
The total amount of MUC5AC in the tears of people who looked at screens for more than seven hours per day was, on an average, 38.5 percent lower than the amount in those people who spent less than five hours a day looking at the screens.
Among the participants, 154 percent were diagnosed with dry eye disease and they had about 57 percent less MUC5AC in their tears compared with those who did not have dry eye disease.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.
Article source: timesofindia
Image source: getty
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