Born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, millennials (aka Generation Y or the Internet generation) have always had constant access to modern technology, such as computers, laptops and cellphones. They generally prefer to communicate through e-mail and text messages rather than actual face-to-face contact. Their school activities, work and social life are constantly defined by, or are required to incorporate, updated forms of such types of electronics.1
With their hectic work schedule and active, tech-dominated lifestyle, Filipino millennials are at high risk of developing Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). One of the most common causes of DES is prolonged visual display terminal (VDT) exposure because of increased computer and cellphone use.2 A new global report found that Filipinos spend more time on the Internet than people in 29 countries in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Europe. The report revealed that the average Filipino Internet user spends 9 hours online each day, with mobile Internet access accounting for more than three and a half of those hours.3
“Every time you blink, your tear ducts produce a thin layer of moisture that cleans and lubricates your eyes. When we work at a computer or use our smartphone or other portable digital device, we tend to blink our eyes less frequently. This leads to greater tear evaporation and increased risk of DES,” says Dr. Richard Nepomuceno, Cornea and External Eye Disease Specialist. “Environmental factors can also have a drying effect on your eyes, causing your tears to evaporate. These include the sun, wind, dry climate, and high altitude.”
Also called dry eye disease or simply dry eyes, DES occurs when your tears are unable to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. It is the most common eye condition among adults. 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.4
To help prevent DES, experts recommend the “20-20-20 rule”: 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.5 Wear sunglasses with UV protection, preferably wraparound sunglasses or close-fitting sunglasses with wide lenses that protect your eyes from every angle. Dr. Nepomuceno also recommends the use of artificial tears, such as Systane Ultra Lubricating Eyedrops, to lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes.
“Novartis supports Filipino millennials and their modern lifestyle through Systane Ultra, the number 1 doctor-recommended brand6 with a unique formula that provides fast and long-lasting relief and protection from dry, irritated eyes. Systane Ultra provides “eyedurance” that enables you to perform and enjoy your daily activities with maximum eye comfort,” said Ms. Cheryl Maley, President & Managing Director, Novartis Healthcare Philippines.
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.