In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still encouraging the use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and many businesses and spaces are requiring patrons to wear face coverings.
But some optometrists are reporting cases of what they’re calling MADE, or mask-associated dry eye.
“People [are] complaining about a sandy, gritty sensation, a burning sensation, red eyes, tearing, sometime bury vision,” Dr. Amorette Hanna, who works at Stonehenge Vision Source in Raleigh, North Carolina, told WTVD.
Hanna said the condition could be attributed to incorrect mask-wearing. She recommends making sure masks fit snug and hug the skin with no gaps. When a person wears mask that is too large, exhaled air travels through the opening and hits eyes, causing dry eyes for some people.
Another tip: Get masks that have a bit of wire over the bridge of the nose for tightening.
If dry eyes persist, consider getting eye drops to use when after taking a mask off.
Hanna said excessive screen time can also contribute to dry eyes.
During a time when many people are still spending the majority of their time inside and schools have opted for virtual learning, use of electronic devices has skyrocketed.
To maintain eye health, Hanna recommends taking breaks from electronics and practicing the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes spent looking staring at a screen, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away, WTVD reported.
Cox Media Group