To help stop the spread of coronavirus, we have all got to do our part by wearing a face mask or covering when necessary. Whether you’re in a shop or travelling on public transport, it’s becoming a part of everyday life.
However, if you wear glasses or contact lenses you may be aware of the few issues caused by your face covering. First, we were all walking around with fogged up glasses and now, people are experiencing dry eye or ‘mask associated dry eye’ (M.A.D.E), as it is now known.
If you have been experiencing dry eye caused by your face mask, read on to discover what is causing it and how you can relieve the symptoms.
What is Mask Associated Dry Eye?
Mask associated dry eye is when air that you have breathed out escapes through the top of your mask and goes across the surface of your eyes (the same action that causes your glasses to fog up). When your eyes are exposed to an increased amount of warm air, it can cause your tears to evaporate resulting in dry, irritated eyes.
It’s not just those wearing glasses which are affected, contact lens wearers who already experience dry eyes may notice that it’s becoming an even more regular occurrence.
Asides from your eyes feeling irritated, if they become dry, they may also be sore, feel gritty, blurry, appear red, and you could even be more sensitive to light.
Tips for Preventing Mask Associated Dry Eye
It’s still important that you continue to wear your face covering as and when required by the Government guidelines; however, it doesn’t mean you should be uncomfortable with itchy eyes!
To help relieve the symptoms of dry, itchy eyes, read on for our top tips:
1. Make Sure Your Mask Fits
If air is escaping through the top of your mask and irritating your eyes, it means your mask does not fit properly. Not only will this keep causing issues with your vision, but it’s also not serving its purpose of keeping yourself and others around you safe.
To keep the air from travelling upwards, pinch the nosepiece of your mask so it fits the bridge of your nose and adjust the ear loops, so it fits your face. If you cannot adjust the mask around your nose, try taping it in place with a piece of surgical tape. However, be careful not to stick the tape so it pulls down on the skin which can also cause your eyes to be exposed to more air.
2. Lubricate Your Eyes with Eye Drops
For instant relief of dry eye symptoms, you can try using lubricating eye drops such as the Artelac Everyday Dry Eye Drops which tackles all symptoms of dry eyes immediately. Alternatively, the Hycosan Extra Dry Eye Drops soothes and moisturise your eyes from day one and can be used for up to 6 months from opening.
Before applying your eyedrops, remember to thoroughly wash your hands before and after and do your best to put them in at home, so you don’t need to touch your face in public.
3. Limit Your Time in Air-Conditioned Rooms
Lastly, help protect your eyes further by limiting your time in air-conditioned or windy environments such as an office or supermarkets. The circulated air is likely to dry your eyes out much quicker.