Remember to blink, specialist says, as home workers staring at screens blamed for rise in eye issues

Home workers have been urged to remember to blink amid concerns about the impact of lockdown on Britons’ eye health.

The overuse of screens can affect a person’s blink rate by up to two-thirds, experts have said, which causes the tear film to evaporate and leads to stress and discomfort.

More time spent outdoors has been linked to improved eyesight by scientists at Cambridge, but current lockdown restrictions around leaving home make this less feasible.

Daniel Ezra, a consultant surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital who also has a private Harley Street clinic, said he has seen an increase in patients with eye discomfort as a result of working from home.

“People are coming in feeling that their eyes aren’t functioning as well as they have in the past,” he said. “We have seen an uptick in sore eyes.

“There are very well described links between screen use and dry eyes, people are susceptible with getting problems with their eyes that will get worse if they’re on screens for longer.”

Mr Ezra has recommended lots of natural breaks for those struggling with strained sight while away from offices and forced to conduct meetings and social activities virtually.

Artificial tear drops can help those whose vision has become particularly bad, he added, because they promote surface healing and flush out potentially infectious particles.