As I sat to write this post, it dawned on me that I was typing on my laptop, phone in my lap, and Netflix on my iPad to the right of me. Here in the U.K., never mind the rest of the western world, we spend a good lot of our time staring at one screen or another. In fact, technology is an integral part of our lives.
Many of you reading my blog are fellow bloggers, those who aren’t are still probably glued to one screen or another. But the interesting thing is, how many of us actually suffer from dry eyes?
Back in September, I found myself blogging for three days straight. My eyes seemed fine with it, I even went to bed and scrolled through Twitter for an hour or two at the end of the day. But then, I’ve always had dry eyes – even my optician told me that the first time I asked about contact lenses.
A recent study showed that the average UK adult will spend up to 9 and a half hours in front of a screen a day – that’s more than we sleep each day! And I know that I for one probably am in the higher part of that statistic. However, all this screen time surely must be having a damaging effect. On average, the eye’s blink rate reduces by up to 60% while we are looking at screens. By not blinking as much, we’re much more likely to have dry, tired and “gritty” eyes. And that’s where Optrex ActiMist comes in.
Optrex have been working alongside Brian Tompkins, a top optometrist and Dry Eye practitioner. They aim to educate the nation on how to recognise and manage “Screen Eyes” through their collaboration on the ActiMist spray.
So what are “Screen Eyes” anyway? Optrex were kind enough to provide me with their description of Screen Eyes.
Dry eyes aren’t uncommon, and they occur when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. This leads 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.
There are many different reasons why happens: a hot or windy climate, contact lens use, underlying medical conditions (such as blepharitis – my sister has this actually!) or side effects from certain medications can all be responsible for dry eye syndrome. Screen Eyes can cause and magnify dry eye symptoms further, as we blink considerably less when concentrating on digital displays.
Brian comments “While ‘Screen Eyes’ symptoms are often mild, having irritated or gritty eyes can be a nuisance and disruptive when you’re trying to go about your day. I find that sufferers don’t link dryness or soreness to staring at their screen or recognise that it could be exacerbating their symptoms. The first step we should take as eye health practitioners is to educate people about ‘Screen Eyes’ and help them both recognise the symptoms and manage them. There is currently a lot of confusion on this topic. It’s unsurprising that people aren’t taking preventative measures to combat the effects of ‘Screen Eyes’ – I often find that people have no idea where to start. It’s clearly unrealistic to advise people not to use screens, as they’re often a fundamental part of both professional and personal lives.”
Now that you know a little more about the product and those behind it, I’d better tell you what I actually thought of it!
When I first saw the little bottle arriving in the post, the first thing that struck me was this is the perfect size for slipping into your handbag or purse for when you’re on the go! For comparison, it’s around the same size as a nail polish bottle, and so it’s even the perfect size for putting in your hand luggage for going on holiday.
Not going to lie, the smell of it confused me a little, but after trying it for 2 weeks I realised it’s just the bottle – there’s a sort of Playdough smell from it. Not an unpleasant one, but it did confuse me a little!
As for the spray itself, I loved it! As I said before, a lot of my time is spent in front of one screen or another, and when you’re committing yourself to maybe 3 or 4 hours of writing blog posts, your eyes can get quite tired. A quick spray on each eye, and I was able to keep going for as long as I needed to! It was the same when driving. I often find the heating in a car can really dry my eyes out, and so I decided to test this when driving to the shops one day. My eyes were really irritated and felt heavy before I used the ActiMist, and then afterwards it felt like I had just woken up again and was ready to face the rest of the drive without any hassle!
I can also verify that this does not smudge your eye makeup – a fault with previous eye sprays I have tried in the past. Overall though, the main thing I wanted to test this product with was my contact lenses.
When I first got contacts, I was told that my eyes are naturally quite dry and so really I shouldn’t drive with my lenses in and I should aim to only wear them for 6 hours as they might become uncomfortable after this. I can now say, ActiMist really helped! It reached the 6 hour mark and I could feel my eyes getting tired. A quick spray, and I got another 4 hours out of them without any problems!
So overall, ActiMist gets a huge thumbs up from me!
If you want to get your hands on your own Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray for Dry and Irritated Eyes, it’s available from Boots, Superdrug, and all other pharmacy and grocery stores. Or if you want to try and manage your screen eyes, check out the tips and advice below!
Optrex have sent me a link for you all to take part in a short fun quiz to find out what type of screen eyes you have. Once you complete the quiz, you can enter a competition to be in for a chance of winning one of 10 pairs of IMAX tickets. The quiz can be viewed on the following link –> www.screendryeyesquiz.co.uk.
This post has been a collaboration with the Optrex team in an effort to raise awareness of Eye Health. While I was sent the product to review, all views and opinions expressed above are entirely my own. Information and statistics were provided to me by the Optrex team, and if you would like more information, please visit www.optrex.xo.uk.