Eye problems amongst older college students


Also seen in those professions requiring long hours of computer use


Dry Eye

 A collection of symptoms that make up an eye condition due to imbalance in the quantity or quality of tears. What you may feel is gritty eyes, pricking or burning sensation, irritation or a feeling of a foreign body in the eyes. What you need to do is avoid contact lens wear, use a lubricating eye drop and reduce the time of work on computers. Draught from a fan or air conditioner directed on the face could worsen the symptoms.

Computer Vision Syndrome

It is common for computer users to have dry eyes. This is because we don’t blink much and we keep our eyes wide open when working at the computer, resulting in drying up of the tear film. Many reasons can result in this condition.

·  Poor position in relation to the computer.

· Lighting that produces glare or reflections, fuzzy images or images that are too dim or too bright;

· Failure to blink often enough to moisten the surface of the eyes;

·   Use of glasses that are inappropriate for the user’s position and distance from the screen;

  • Minor visual defects such as astigmatism that might go unnoticed unless intense computer use exaggerates them.

The following steps can help alleviate your symptoms:

  • Lower your computer screen so that the center of the screen is 4-8 inches below your eye level and at a viewing distance of 20-28 inches.
  • Use artificial tears as recommended by your doctor to re-wet and lubricate your eyes.
  • If you are seated in a draught or near an air vent, try to change your seating or position and direct the draught away from your eyes.
  • Low humidity or fumes aggravate a dry eye condition.
  • Concentrate on blinking whenever you begin to sense symptoms of dry or irritated eyes.
  • Take frequent breaks. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. This simply means every 20 minutes, look away beyond 20 feet and blink 20 times.



Red Eye – Typically caused by:

–          Fatigue and eye strain- reading in poor light, lack of sleep

–          Poor Contact Lens Hygiene/ Contact lens allergies

–          Infections- conjunctivitis- bacterial (infections) or allergic (eg. Dust).


If you suffer prolonged discomfort or notice a marked change in your vision, you should immediately have an eye examination.

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