I like to think I’m pretty good at taking doctor’s orders. Long before I knew why I had to finish a course of antibiotics, I kept popping them diligently because my doctor told me to. After my stint at the VIVAMAYR clinic in Altaussee, I chewed and chewed and chewed every mouthful of food because their doctor said it was the key to good health. My tooth-cleaning routine, which was, as you’ve probably guessed, suggested by my dentist, is slightly ludicrous, involving floss, interdental sticks, toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, and a pretty fancy toothbrush.
But regardless of my usual MO, I had to have a little chat with my optician after he suggested I might restrict my contact lens use for special occasions – ‘for a couple of hours, when you go out the house.’ There’s nothing especially unusual about my eyes (bar extreme myopia) – he just thought that it’s generally better for them not to be lensed up, especially as I’d mentioned mine get dry. I get it – lenses aren’t exactly good news, especially when you factor in a lot of screen time – but equally I find glasses really quite a nuisance for a few reasons and prefer to wear lenses when out and about, so I told him so.
To his credit, he listened to my concerns about his suggestion, and told me to proceed as I was – but told me that the crucial thing was to not let my eyes dry out before sending me on my way with a list of products which he thought might help. On the list there was the Optrex ActiMist 2 for 1 Eye Spray for Dry and Irritated Eyes, which a beauty editor had also mentioned was good when I said that come the end of day I felt very aware of my lenses. I bought it and was hugely impressed.
I’ve since repurchased, so when Optrex asked if I wanted to work with them to highlight both the spray and their Optrex Screen Dry Eyes Quiz and competition to win a pair of IMAX premiere tickets*, I of course said I’d be more than happy to given that it’s become one of my desk side staples. Here’s the lowdown on the spray – and a bit of info on dry eyes in general:
Why do dry eyes occur? The causes are manifold, with optometrist Brian Tompkins explaining that ‘dry eyes occur when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to the eyes drying out and becoming red, swollen or irritated. One frequent cause of dry eyes is the oily layer of tear film or ‘lipid layer’ being compromised, as this is responsible for preventing evaporation.’
What else contributes? A few things exacerbate the issue, the primary ones being:
– Wearing lenses.
– Washing eyes with a foaming cleanser.
– Spending too much time looking at screens as we can blink up to 60% less when concentrating on them.
– Living in a windy or dry climate.
– Taking certain medications.
How can I reduce the symptoms of dry eyes? Fortunately, there’s PLENTY you can do, from lifestyle tips to products. Here are some I’ve found useful:
– ALWAYS use a non-foaming cleanser – your skin will thank you for it, too.
– Try what Tompkins calls the ’20-20-20 rule’ – every 20 minutes when looking at a screen, close your eyes for 20 seconds, then blink 20 times.
– Try to up the humidity in your surroundings with plants or by installing a humidifier. (DIY version
– pop a bowl of water near the heating in rooms so that the water evaporates into the air – another one your skin will love.)
– Grab Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray – just spray it onto closed lids 1 to 2 times up to four times daily (I can tell you from experience that it won’t smudge eye make-up or make it streaky – and I’ve tested it on a full-on smokey eye) – it’s designed to relieve the symptoms of dryness and irritation and can be used by lens-wearers.
– Consider your diet. Fresh, nutrient-rich food isn’t only good for your figure and skin, but will also help to promote lipid production to keep your eyes healthy.
* Click here for a chance to win one of ten pairs of IMAX premiere tickets.
This blog post is intended for audiences in the UK only