Think to Blink
Proper blinking is essential to the health and function of your eye’s surface. When you blink, the action of the lids pulls oil from the meibomian (oil) glands and spreads it over the ocular (eye) surface. When the oils are the correct consistency and volume, the tears do not evaporate between blinks. Consequently, this optimizes the clarity of your vision and protects the tissue (cornea and conjunctiva) of the ocular surface. Not surprisingly, when this natural system is out of balance, your vision is degraded and the structures at the front of your eye can be damaged. As result, symptoms of dry eye disease manifest, including fluctuating vision, burning, tearing, foreign body sensation, itch, and redness.
Meibomian (oil) gland disease (MGD) is by far the most common dry eye disease, accounting for about 80% of cases. MGD can be accelerated and worsened by infrequent and incomplete blinking. The glands can become blocked leading to gland tissue damage and loss. Unfortunately, any gland tissue lost can not be restored.
With the extreme use of technology, we are staring at screens all day, every day- young and old alike. We have a “Poor Blink Epidemic” occurring. So, I urge you to blink fully, frequently throughout the day.
I urge my patients and you to “think to blink” by purposefully and forcefully blinking several times per hour, especially when engaged in activity that involves screens (e.g laptop use, computer work, smart phone use) or tasks that require concentration (e.g. reading). By doing this you can improve the function of your meibomian glands. As a result, the eye surface will be healthier, and you will definitely be happier and see more clearly!
If you think you may have a ” blinking problem”, or are suffering from the symptoms described above, schedule your consultation by using our online form or by calling one of our offices in Hagerstown, Chambersburg, or Waynesboro.
Dr. Glen Elliott