Vision Therapy in Plymouth

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(574) 935-3937
Alleviating Digital Eye Strain for Comfortable Vision

Do your eyes feel dry, irritated, or fatigued after a lengthy day spent scrolling through social media, tackling a barrage of emails, or streaming your favorite content? If so, you might be wondering whether screen time could be the culprit behind these discomforts.

Indeed, while digital devices have brought convenience, they've also introduced a new challenge for eye health: digital eye strain, which is often accompanied by dry eye symptoms.

boy playing VR game


Understanding Digital Eye Strain and Its Link to Dry Eyes

woman using mobile phone

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a condition that arises when you spend extended periods gazing at screens. Its symptoms include dry eyes, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches.

Several factors contribute to dry eyes during prolonged screen use:

  • Reduced Blink Rate

    While focusing on screens, people tend to blink less frequently. This reduced blink rate can lead to reduced tear production and increased tear evaporation, resulting in dry eyes.

  • Blue Light Exposure

    Digital screens emit blue light, disrupting the circadian rhythm. Disrupted sleep, in turn, can contribute to dry eye symptoms.

  • Poor Posture

    Incorrect screen placement or poor posture can cause you to open your eyes wider, increasing exposure to air and tear evaporation.

  • Reduced Blink Quality

    Frequent screen time can lead to incomplete blinks, where the upper and lower eyelids do not meet fully, causing inadequate tear film spreading and reduced oil secretion from meibomian glands.


The Effects of Excessive Screen Time on Children's Eyes

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a condition that arises when you spend extended periods gazing at screens. Its symptoms include dry eyes, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches.

Several factors contribute to dry eyes during prolonged screen use:

  • Eye Fatigue and Discomfort

    Excessive screen time can lead to eye fatigue, causing discomfort, reduced vision clarity, and headaches. Children may also lose interest in activities like reading due to eye strain .

  • Dry and Irritated Eyes

    Long screen sessions can result in dry and irritated eyes, as prolonged screen focus reduces blinking frequency. Maintaining a stable tear film on the eye's surface is crucial for clear vision, especially for children adapting to screens designed for adults.

  • Reduced Focus Flexibility

    Children who spend extended periods focusing on screens may struggle to adjust to distance vision afterward. Although this is usually a short-term issue, it highlights the importance of balanced screen time and outdoor activities.

  • Risk of Developing Myopia

    Excessive indoor screen time deprives children of essential natural daylight exposure, impacting their eye development. Studies suggest a link between increased indoor time and a higher risk of nearsightedness (myopia) in children. Balancing screen use with outdoor play is crucial for healthy eyes.

woman viewing tablet in bed


Treating Dry Eyes Caused by Screen Time

Dry eyes induced by excessive screen use may range from mild to severe, with severe cases potentially leading to permanent eye surface damage. Therefore, it's essential to take steps to alleviate these symptoms.

If you're someone who spends a considerable amount of time in front of screens, you can adopt several strategies to reduce the risk of digital eye strain and dry eyes:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to focus on something at least 20 feet away.
  • Adjust Screen Settings: Modify the font size, brightness, and blue light emission to create a more comfortable viewing experience.
  • Proper Lighting: Ensure your screen is not overly bright, and your surroundings are well-lit.
  • Blink More: Always remember to blink regularly to keep your eyes moist.
  • Stay Hydrated: Maintaining adequate hydration can help support tear production.

Use Artificial Tears: Lubricating eye drops can relieve dry eyes while using screens.

Patient Reviews
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17 Reviews
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- Nov. 04, 2023
Thank you Jaden for for going above and beyond on getting everything fixed with my glasses. I apprec... iate you so much!
- Aug. 09, 2023
We had a great visit with Dr.Bell today! She answered all my questions and was very patient with my ... son. Very impressed with the entire process.
- Dec. 10, 2021
Dr. Bell & Dr. Beard are both Very knowledgeable, caring and explain so that you can understand, and... if you don't understand they will take the time to help you! I have had 2 separate serious eye incidents and they fitted me right in on the day the incidents happened! The office staff has gone above and beyond without my asking. Thank you Plymouth Family Eyecare
- Oct. 09, 2018
My first experience on visiting an eye Dr. here in the USA for over 20 years.Great Dr. staff and ser... vice.Looking forward to seeing them again. Keith
- Apr. 09, 2018
Great place,super friendly.
- Mar. 01, 2018
Dr. Bell and staff are amazing! Always go above and beyond for their patients.
- Feb. 18, 2018
Friendly staff,very helpful and caring
- Dec. 31, 2017
Love love love the team at Plymouth Family Eyecare ! They take great care of my children's eyes 🙂

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Dry Eyes in Plymouth

Our optometry practice in Plymouth

Photograph of Kelsey  Bell
Hours
  • Monday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 1:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Davis Vision
  • EyeMed
  • Medicare
  • Spectera
  • Superior Vision
  • United Healthcare
  • VSP

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Consult Plymouth Family Eyecare for Digital Eye Strain Relief

Although lifestyle changes can be helpful, more effective dry eye management strategies may be necessary in some cases. Plymouth Family Eyecare provides a range of treatments to restore your family's eyesight.

If you or a loved one suffers from ongoing dry eye symptoms due to prolonged screen use, our experienced eye care professionals can provide relief. Make an appointment with Plymouth Family Eyecare to discuss dry eye management options. Let's work together to protect their eyesight and ensure a bright future.

(574) 935-3937