The amount of time Filipinos spend on the Internet is a well-documented statistic. In fact, the “Digital in 2017 Global Overview,” a report produced by global advertising agency We Are Social and social media management platform Hootsuite pinpointed that in any of the 30 countries in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, North America, and Europe, the Philippines ranked highest in internet usage. Filipinos spend nine hours online each day, with mobile Internet access accounting for more than three and a half of those hours. Healthwise, this amount of time could result in a common condition among Internet users which is the Dry Eye Syndrome.
Science explains Dry Eye Syndrome, “The prevalence of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES, also known as dry eye disease or simply dry eyes) is increasing worldwide and is now an important public health problem. One reason for the rapid rise in the number of cases of dry eye disease over the last few years is thought to be prolonged visual display terminal (VDT) exposure because of increased computer use. VDT exposure is also becoming common in the general population because of the widespread use of Internet-based mobile technology and portable information terminals, especially smartphones, among all age group.” (Dogru M et al. A Field Test of Web-Based Screening for Dry Eye Disease to Enhance Awareness of Eye Problems Among General Internet Users: A Latent Strategy to Promote Health)
During a media briefing held by Novartis Healthcare Philippines on November 8, 2017 at the Ludo BoardGame Bar and Bistro in Makati City to promote awareness on DES and highlight its latest product, the Systane Ultra Lubricating Eyedrops, Ms. Cheryl Maley, President & Managing Director of Novartis Healthcare Philippines spoke of the drawback of too much internet usage, “It is a welcome development that more Filipinos now have Internet access. Digital connectivity brings many socio-economic benefits such as improved communication, knowledge dissemination, and economic opportunities, among others. However, spending too much time online also has its drawbacks.”
The drawbacks of prolonged working at a computer or use our smartphone or other portable digital device is that we tend to blink our eyes less frequently, and according to Dr. Richard L. Nepomuceno, Cornea and External Eye Disease Specialist, “this leads to greater tear evaporation and increased risk of DES.”
Taking care of this condition is by using the Systane Ultra Lubricating Eyedrops. Developed by the Novartis eye care division Alcon, it is clinically proven product that delivers extended protection and high-performance dry eye symptom relief that lasts unlike any other eyedrops.
Its benefit is also proven by filmmaker and model Janina Manipol and homeschool teacher and mommy blogger Joy Mendoza during the briefing. The two Systane Ultra brand ambassadors shared their personal experiences on eye care given their busy lifestyles.
So how do you know when you’re suffering from DES?
Mayo Clinic said that DES is a common condition that occurs when your tears are unable to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you don’t produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears. DES signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include a stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes; stringy mucus in or around your eyes; sensitivity to light; eye redness; a sensation of having something in your eyes; difficulty wearing contact lenses; difficulty with nighttime driving; watery eyes; and blurred vision or eye fatigue.
Systane Ultra Lubricating Eyedrops, as artificial tears, can lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of our eyes. Moreover, following the tip of “20-20-20 rule” to prevent eye strain can be of big help, according to healthline.com. Look away from the computer/ smartphone/portable digital device screen every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away, and look at it for at least 20 seconds.
Systane Ultra is available in all leading drugstores nationwide. For more information about Systane Ultra, visit the Novartis Healthcare Philippines official website, novartis.com.ph or like us on Facebook via Facebook.com/SystanePH or follow @systaneph on Instagram.