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Published on : Jun 24, 2014

Working for a job where you are required to stare at a monitor or computer screen for more than seven hours a day can induce symptoms similar to that of dry eye disease, says a study. 

The layer of tears on our eyes meant for the protection and lubrication of eyes contains a protein secreted by specialized cells in the upper eyelid. The protein is called MUC5AC. 

Researchers have discovered that MUC5AC levels in eyes of those who stare at computer screens for more than seven hours a day are almost as low as in the eyes of people with dry eye syndrome.      

People who keep staring at their computer screens are also tend to open their eyes wider as compared to doing other tasks. The area of the eye exposed more than in normal people, added with infrequent blinking of the eyes can lead to rapid tear evaporation and hence, cause symptoms similar to dry eye syndrome. 

For the study, tears from 96 Japanese office workers, who had jobs involving extensive work with computer screens, were sampled and then studied for the concentration of MUC5AC. 

The concentration of MUC5AC in tears of those who stared at computer screens for more than seven hours a day was found to be lower by an average 38.5% than the amount in workers who stared at computer screens for less than five hours every day. 

The study was published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.