Why your mask may be causing eye problems
Whatever you do, keep wearing your mask. Eye problems are easier to address than a case of COVID-19! As millions who wear glasses can attest, the exhaled breath escaping from the top of a poor-fitting mask can cause your lenses to fog up.
For months now, eye doctors have suspected that this upward flow of air also may lead to problems in the eye itself, including dryness and the reddish bumps called styes. Read more about Styes
Should someone develop a stye, caused by a blocked oil gland in the eyelid, it is easily treatable by one of our doctors.
This is no excuse not to wear a mask as these issues are much more minor than getting COVID.
Wearing an ill fitting mask is kind of like having a fan blowing on your eyes; it dries out your tears and it changes the microenvironment around your eyes. Another possibility is that when adjusting their masks, people are touching their face with unclean fingers.
Because KN94 and KN95 masks generally fit more snugly and block 94% or 95% of droplets, bacteria growth around eyes and foreheads has been found to be less than on those wearing regular surgical masks or cloth masks because people tend to overwear surgical masks more than once and tend not to wash cloth masks daily.
In addition to wearing a clean, snug-fitting mask, another way to prevent styes might be to use mouthwash to minimize bacteria in the mouth.
To the extent that dry eye might be contributing to blocked oil glands, still another option is to use “artificial tears” eye drops. But for those who develop styes, the condition is easily treatable and one of our eye doctors may recommend warm compresses to help drain the blocked gland. Certain ointments also can help.
If the gland becomes infected, a doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic,
If you develop a stye, there’s no reason to panic!! We can take care of it. Schedule an Eye Exam NOW