Four in five adults are often exposed to irritants at home which could cause Dry Eye Disease – including screentime and smoke

Four in five (83 per cent) adults are regularly exposed to irritants which can lead to Dry Eye Disease such as cleaning products (28 per cent), and face creams and moisturisers (27 per cent).

Research of 2,000 adults found many are also exposed to screens (57 per cent), kitchen smoke and fumes (23 per cent), eye make-up (22 per cent) and air conditioning (14 per cent).

While one in four are thought to suffer with Dry Eye Disease in the UK, having symptoms of eyes that are itchy, sore, gritty, red, blurry, sensitive to light and more watery than normal.

The symptoms are caused by environment and lifestyle factors such as spending long periods of time behind computer screens, and air conditioned or heated spaces.

With smoking, drinking alcohol or taking certain medicines also contributing towards the eye condition.

However, the data revealed the lack of knowledge around these factors may be causing eye irritation in and around the home.

Make eye tests a regular occurence

The research was commissioned by eyecare experts Théa UK as part of the Not a Dry Eye in the House survey, which found only a few (5 per cent) were aware that women are at greater risk of developing the disease.

With almost half (45 per cent) of respondents thinking men and women were at equal risk, and 15 per cent of men thinking they are at greater risk than women.

Optometrist and Dry Expert, Sarah Farrant, said: “There are many simple ways that people can look after their eyes – such as reducing screen time, giving our eyes a rest every 20 minutes when at a screen for long periods of time, wearing sunglasses outside, and adopting an appropriate eyecare routine.

When thinking about minimising irritants around the house, make sure you’re avoiding too much heat directed to the eyes, whether this be from heating, fans or using a hairdryer.”

The study also found less than half (35 per cent) were aware of the environmental causes increasing the risk of Dry Eye Disease, and 64 per cent were unaware of smoking doubling the chances of developing the disease.

Although 40 per cent agreed that their screen time had increased over the last 12 months, only 12 per cent said they take regular breaks to rest their eyes, with 20 minutes being the recommended time by optometrists.

Almost a fifth (19 per cent) claim they never think about giving their eyes a break – and 43 per cent of those diagnosed with the condition haven’t changed their lifestyle or environment.

“If you are exposed to these environments and start to suffer with the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease, you should use a preservative free drop to lubricate your eyes and try to blink more regularly, as our blink rate is often reduced with many lifestyle factors such as screen use and driving.

Finally, I urge people to book an eye test because regular eye tests not only determine whether you need glasses or a change in prescription, they can also easily detect conditions such as Dry Eye Disease.”

To find out more about Dry Eye Disease, click here.