Cell phones to blame for mom's eye disorder
WAKE FOREST, NORTH CAROLINA — "I'm blind in the morning, basically," said Gretta Nance, a mom from Wake Forest, who can blame her mobile device habits for her eye disorder.
Gretta Nance is a brand manager and she spends hours every day switching between her iPhone, Macbook, and television.
She, like so many, had perfect vision her entire life, but now, unsurprisingly, is part of a troubling trend that optometrists are seeing.
Nance told ABC11 that she essentially wakes up blind, she also stated that by the evenings she can't even watch television because her eyes just want to close.
She said that she now keeps bottles of eye drops and several pairs of glasses distributed about her home.
She was recently diagnosed with, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, more commonly known as MGD.
Doctors said the condition is common among the older generation, but they are starting to see more cases and younger patients.
Optometrists think it's because of our dependence on mobile devices.
According to EMarketer.com, people are spending more time staring at their smartphones than watching TV.
They say the average American is spending more than three hours every day on their mobile devices, and doctors believe when we're using these devices, our eyes are alert and glued.
Dr. Amorette Hanna of Stonehenge Vision Source explained that when we're using digital devices, we blink about 60 percent less.
The blink is what triggers the eyelid to secrete oils.
Those oils coat the eye and allow us to see clearly without irritation.
If you don't blink, the oils are not being replenished and the glands dry out, resulting in permanent damage.
Hanna said, "When those glands are lost, unfortunately, there's no way to get them back."
X-rays of Wake Forest mum Nance's eyelid, show that her oils have evaporated.
So, what're the symptoms of MGD?
A sandy or gritty feeling.
Eye and lid irritation.
Contact lens intolerance.
Eyelids sticking together in the morning and or blurry vision.
How can you prevent getting MGD?
Doctors recommend the 20-20-20 rule.
For every 20 minutes you spend on the phone, look away for 20 seconds to something 20 feet away.
Nance is now visiting her doctor every six weeks, she said, "This is something I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life.
That was probably one of the most shocking things of it: learning I can't get those glands back."