If you are a glasses wearer in 2021 you will be all too familiar with the problem of fogging and masks. The hot air from your breath travels up under the mask forming tiny beads of water on the surface of your lenses making them impossible to see through. Thankfully there are some excellent products that can be applied to the lenses to stop the fog.
But did you know that masks are also causing a significant increase in dry eye? There is even an acronym, MADE – Mask Associated Dry Eye.
MADE is due to the same air flow that causes fogging. The air from our breath travels upward under our mask and across the eye’s surface. This causes the tears to evaporate resulting in gritty, watery, itchy, red and sore eyes.
So, what can we do about it?
The best way to reduce MADE is to ensure your mask is fitting well. A good seal to stop the air escaping up toward your eyes will go a long way to alleviating dry eyes.
Masks with a wire insert are excellent as you can mould the wire to follow the contour of your face. Some people even resort to using tape or a folded tissue to improve the seal. Try also to avoid air-conditioning and take frequent breaks when using screens.
If you are still experiencing dry eyes there are a number of drops and treatments available to provide immediate relief and promote a healthy, robust tear film.
Remember, MADE is not an excuse to avoid wearing a mask. Mask wearing, even when contending with dry eye, is a critical part of overcoming this pandemic. Come and see us at Hansen Eyecare Plus for the latest in dry eye prevention and treatment.