The use of masks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus has become a new normal since the pandemic began. However, these habits can cause problems in our health. According to a study published in the journal Ophthalmology and Therapy, carried out by researchers at the University of Utah, a significant increase in cases of dry eye was identified in people who use bad masks regularly.
If the mask is not properly adjusted to the nose, the air that we exhale will come out through the upper part of the mask will reach the eyes, this air can dry out these organs, thus generating recurrent cases of dry eye, explained Juan Carlos Corbera, specialist of Ophthalmic Clinic of Vision.
“Dry eye is a very common pathology in these times of pandemic due to the constant use of masks, but also due to exposure to screens. This picture is generated when the tears are scarce or of poor quality. Its symptoms include burning, blurred vision, foreign body sensation, redness, among others”, Said the ophthalmologist, Juan Carlos Corbera.
This condition can cause our eyes to be more predisposed to rapid ocular complications. Therefore, the specialist offers some recommendations during the use of masks to prevent dry eye:
- Use the right masks: In times of pandemic, and with the arrival of the third wave, it is still recommended to use two masks. It is suggested that the first mask be a KN95 and the second one be a surgical mask. In this way we will take care of a possible contagion by COVID-19.
- Fit the masks well: It is recommended that both masks have an internal wire that allows them to be attached to the nose. If, despite this, the air we exhale continues to escape, it is recommended to place a tape or a special adhesive tape for the skin so that there is a better fit.
- Moisturize the eyes: The use of artificial tears will help keep the eyes moisturized and alleviate the discomfort caused by dry eyes. There is no limit to the use of these tears, since they do not cause any damage no matter how many times we apply them. Blinking will also prevent the appearance of dry eye.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands: If we want to prevent any bacteria from entering our eyes, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after touching the masks. This habit must be constant, since we can touch our faces with dirty hands and thus we will give entry to various microbes that will make our eyes more sensitive.