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Mask Associated Dry Eye


Wearing a face mask or face covering is an important tool when trying to tackle the spread of coronavirus. However, there are associated irritations with wearing a face covering for a long period of time, one of which being, what experts are calling, mask associated dry eye (MADE).

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is caused when the quantity and/or quality of tears produced isn’t sufficient. The condition has become more widespread over the past few months due to the dramatic increase in people wearing face coverings.

Signs of dry eye:

Here are some of the symptoms you may experience;

  • A scratching, burning, stinging or itching sensations in your eye(s)
  • Sore or uncomfortable eyes
  • Redness
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision

Ways to combat dry eye?

Make sure your mask fits well

Ensuring your face mask has a nose bridge and adjustable ear strings will reduce the air flow over the surface of your eye.

Limit your time in dry environments

Where possible it is recommended that you reduce your time in dry environments, such air conditioned areas or windy conditions.

Take a break from your digital devices

Concentrating for a prolonged amount of time on a screen can cause digital eye strain, which can cause your eye to become sore. Taking regular breaks will help combat this issue.

Consider using eye drops

If you feel your eyes becoming increasingly dry throughout the day, you could consider using lubricating eye drops. However, if you are noticing a consistent change or irritation to your eyes you should visit your optometrist or GP.

Talk to our M&S Opticians team

If you’ve noticed a change in your vision and think it may be related to dry eye, book an appointment at your local M&S Opticians.