Dry Eyes – From Wearing a Mask?

If you’ve been wearing a face mask lately to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19, you might have noticed that your eyes feel a little dry. This could be an unexpected side effect from constant face coverings! But not to fear, it’s due to a totally understandable reason, and the good news is, there are ways to treat it.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye is when your eyes feel irritated if you aren’t producing enough or high-quality tears. It can make your eyes feel itchy, extra sensitive to light or blurry, and may look red. Lots of factors can lead to dry eyes, from dry or smoky environments to certain medications.

Wait – How Does a Face Mask Cause Dry Eyes?

If your face mask is not fitting quite tightly enough, there may be a airflow between the top of your mask and your face. When you exhale, your breath will then escape through this area, and the air will flow directly into your eyes, drying them out. This is one theory; since this is a new problem, official research hasn’t been completed as of yet.

How Can I Fix It?

Depending on how severe your symptoms are, there are a few different things you can try. If your symptoms are severe, please consult your doctor.

  • Try a different mask style – Some masks will fit your face better than others. If you can minimize the gap between the mask and your face, there will be less air blown into your eyes.
  • Use eye drops – Carry a small bottle with you to moisten your dry eyes throughout the day.
  • Use a hot compress – At night, place a washcloth heated with warm water over your eyes. This can help trigger the oil glands on your eyelids.

Hopefully these tips will help you understand what’s going on with your dry eyes and provide a solution!

For more information, please visit https://www.health.com/condition/eye-health/mask-associated-dry-eye