Laser Eye Surgery Pioneer Marguerite McDonald, MD, Talks Computer Eye Strain

10 Nov

Laser Eye Surgery Pioneer Marguerite McDonald, MD, in addition to performing the world’s first excimer laser eye surgery in 1986, is a practicing Ophthalmologist on Long Island and Professor Emeritus at Tulane University. As a practicing Ophthalmologist, she has considerable experience treating dry eye, computer eye strain and computer dry eye.

On June 1, 2009, Dr. Marguerite McDonald was interviewed on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, an Internet radio talk show hosted by Sharon Kleyne. The interview may be heard on World Talk Radio, Voice America, Green Talk Network, Apple iTunes and

Computer Eye Strain

Dr. McDonald observed that computer eye strain is a common and rapidly growing complaint among her patients and that the number of patients who can no longer use computers as a result of computer eye strain and serious dry eye symptoms is also growing rapidly. Symptoms should always be taken seriously and alleviated when possible, both by soothing the eyes and by taking prevention measures.

Soothing computer eye strain

Dr. McDonald notes that rubbing is bad for your eyes. If dryness or itching of the eyes is caused by allergies, rubbing can further entrench the allergen and cause a release of chemicals that are even more uncomfortable.

For dry eye symptoms, Dr. McDonald recommends a cool, wet compress, lying down and relaxing, with eyes closed. Moisture from the compress will absorb into closed eyes and eyelid skin. Dr. McDonald also recommends Nature’s Tears EyeMist (a sponsor of the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water) to soothe dry eyes. While performing eye surgery, Dr. McDonald has her eyes misted occasionally.


Dr. McDonald pointed out that many factors can predispose computer users to develop dry eye and computer eye strain symptoms. These include arthritis, Parkinson’s, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, allergies, numerous medications (especially blood pressure medications and anti-depressants), osteoporosis, gout, blink disorders, thyroid problems and the first few days after LASIK eye surgery.

Other factors affecting tear film moisture content during computer use include common office conditions such as indoor air, forced-air heating and cooling, cleansing fluids, detergents, poorly ventilated buildings and excessive computer use.

Preventing and alleviating

According to Dr. McDonald, the most serious eye problem associated with computer use and computer eye strain is reduced blink rate. The normal blink rate is 20 to 30 times per minute whereas somebody deeply absorbed in computer work may blink only three times a minute. This greatly increases moisture evaporation from the eye.

Dr. McDonald suggests keeping the computer screen low so that you have to look slightly down on it and therefore do not open your eyes as widely. She also recommends frequent short breaks to rest the eyes and regular breaks away from the computer. Also important are sleep, stress reduction, exercise, adequate daily water intake and a proper diet including eye foods such as dark green leafy vegetables and foods with omega-3 fatty acids. .

© 2011 Bio-Logic Aqua Research

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