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Office workers vulnerable to dry eyes: study

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Tokyo – Office workers who spend long hours in front of computer screens experience changes in their tear fluid similar to people who have dry eye disease, according to a study from the Keio University School of Medicine in Japan.

People with dry eyes do not produce enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye, which can lead to discomfort and possible vision problems, according to the American Optometric Association.

Researchers tested 96 office workers to measure the protein content of their tear fluid, or mucin 5AC. The results showed a pattern: Workers who stared at computer screens for seven or more hours a day had an average of 5.9 nanograms of mucin 5AC per milligram of protein in each eye, compared with an average of 9.6 nanograms per milligram in workers who stared at screens for less than five hours a day.

The study was published June 5 in Journal of the American Medical Association – Ophthalmology.