Post-Super Bowl Dry Eyes?

30 01 2013

Whether your a Ravens fan or a 49ers, chances are you’re going to be glued to your HD TV for hours on end during Super Bowl Sunday.  Of course no Super Bowl game is complete without your chile, wings, chips, pretzels and other assorted salted snacks accompanied by a few beverages to quench the adrenaline of watching the game at the edge of your seat.

superbowlsnacksUnless you choose the alternative healthy snack option, the above salt and alcohol cocktail will lead to one thing – Dehydration.  Accompanying that is white-knuckle game that  keeps your eyes glued to the TV.  Interestingly your brain will be so focused on what your watching that it refuses to blink as often and as completely.  A normal blink rate is once every 7 seconds.  Studies have shown that in moments of extreme concentration your blink rate can slow to once every minute and partial blinks at that.  What this does is it prevents proper clearing of the corneal surface and reduces oil secretion into your tear film, allowing the watery tear to evaporate quickly.  This combination of dehydration and exposure are the perfect combination for a Super Bowl Monday morning red eyes!

The solution is not to grab the nearest bottle of Visine, because this can cause rebound congestion making you dependent on this ocular decongestant to keep your eyes white.  Instead here are some tips to prepare and prevent your Monday morning tell:

  • Hydrate well in advance – keep your body well fueled with water during the morning and try to maintain this while watching the game
  • Lubricate your ocular surface – I recommend Systane Balance, Refresh Optive, or Liposic eye drops every 2-4 hours during that day
  • Blink purposely – every 20 minutes look away from the game blink several times and resume watching
  • Keep the humidifier on and close

Follow these tips and whether your team wins or loses your eyes won’t give away what you did the night before!

Dr. Richard Maharaj OD, FAAO

Director of Optometry,

eyeLABS Inc.

twitter: @eyelabsinc




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