Posted on 05 September 2020
Face masks have become an essential part of daily life to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), but they affect our specs and therefore sight by steaming up the lenses and the warm air moves towards the eyes causing increased drying of the tears, so much so that researchers have given this the name (MADE) mask-associated dry eye.
As the weather changes, going from the cold to the warm of indoor heating will make these issues worse.
There are solutions to help these issues and we are at hand to go through them when you come in and visit. We champion ourselves on lifestyle dispensing, getting to know our patients and offer them the best options based on their lifestyle and daily activity needs.
In this new normal we need to think; How often do you need to wear a mask daily? For some we might just wear them when we pop to the shops but for others they could be wearing masks for hours every day while at work. Have you noticed your eyes have been more prone to feeling dry and gritty after or while wearing a mask? After all if our eyes are dry we are more likely to rub them which is an increase infection risk of Covid 19. By keeping the eyes comfortable it keeps hands away.
So what are the options?
1. Anti-fog lens treatments
An anti-fog coating can be applied to the lens itself. These coatings can have the same benefits of anti-glare and scratch resistance as well as improved resilience against fogging up. We have tested these products and there was a marked improvement compared to normal coated and uncoated lenses. We have made a video to demonstrate these lenses which can be found here https://youtu.be/wgGW9uUffXI
We are offering these coatings at the same cost as our premium anti-glare lenses, offering the same benefits of anti-glare and a scratch warranty but with the anti fog as a free upgrade.
2. Anti-fog cleaning products
If you already have specs and don’t wish to change the lenses then there are specialist cloths and wipes which apply an anti-fog treatment to the lenses which lasts up to a few days. They come in the form of cloths and pre-soaked individual wipes. Some work best with anti-glare lenses while others are best suited to uncoated lenses.
We have trialled over the past few months and have found which we feel work best.
These can be found in all our practices with options starting from 0.50p.
Here's a video we made trialling the options https://youtu.be/TmVMxozsINc
3. Contact lenses
Contact lenses are another great way of avoiding specs from steaming up because, well, you’re now wearing any.
Modern contact lenses such as Silicon Hydrogel are very efficient at keeping the eye moist while also allowing enough Oxygen to the eye so it stays healthy.
We offer a free contact lens trial service so you could see how you could benefit from wearing them whilst wearing masks as well as other PPE.
4. Dry eye services
If since wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time you have found that your eyes are prone to drying or are feeling uncomfortable we have the solutions for you.
Each practice has trained ocular hygienists who can discuss the wetting drop product ranges we sell and explain each ones differences and benefits.
Not all wetting drops are equal, cheap ones often dry out much quicker so need applying more often meaning you go through the bottle quicker and it actually ends up costing you more. Likewise some bottles you may find difficult to use so the drops rarely go into the eye meaning again you waste unnecessary money with the drops on your cheek instead of the eye (we call them expensive tears)
If you are one of those who is unfortunately effected by dry eye and masks are making the situation worse we offer a dry eye clinic where a trained optician can identify the exact cause of why the eyes are dry and create a bespoke treatment plan for you.
There are many causes for dry eye and what works well for one doesn’t often work for another so friends/family advice may be wrong for you.
The price includes 2 follow up appointments to see how the treatment is going as well as discount off any products such as drops or lid cleaning wipes.
This service costs £40 and is available at all of our practices.
Give us a call if you would like any further advice. During this period of time with social distancing measures we are only able to let a limited number of patients in at any one time so we are making booking consultations to avoid disappointment or having to wait in the cold.