Vision Therapy in Warsaw

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(574) 267-3515
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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355 Reviews
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- Apr. 16, 2024
I’ve seen many optometrists in my life. Dr. Rebekah Todd is my favorite. She explains things ver... y well and takes the extra steps to make sure everything is perfect. I’ll be sticking with her.
- Apr. 04, 2024
I've been coming here since I was little, I love every visit. Everyone is kind & they have a play ar... ea for children.
- Mar. 30, 2024
Doctor Temple cares about her patients as if they were family.
- Mar. 25, 2024
They take good care of you
- Mar. 22, 2024
It was my 1st visit there and they are wonderful! I'm definitely staying with them as a customer!
- Mar. 22, 2024
Super friendly and very helpful.
- Mar. 14, 2024
Dr. Caughell and the entire staff is always so friendly and knowledgeable. They have always taken g... reat care of my families eyes.
- Feb. 23, 2024
I love the knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful staff. Best eye doctors in the area! Great for the w... hole family. All five of us go here for check ups, eye glasses, and contacts.
- Feb. 22, 2024
Everyone was super friendly and helpful. My kids had a great experience.
- Feb. 13, 2024
Overall positive experience. Friendly, felt like the apposite time was afforded to my appointment.
- Feb. 08, 2024
Friendly service, knowledgeable staff, quick service, great choice of products.
- Feb. 06, 2024
Warsaw Family Eyecare Doctors, Nurses, and Receptionists are very kind, caring, and knowledgeable. M... y sons’ eye doctors were fantastic with my children and really took the time to educate me on each of my son’s eyesight! Highly recommend!
- Jan. 30, 2024
The staff and professionals truly care about your well being and it shows in everything they do!
- Jan. 22, 2024
Great care!
- Jan. 16, 2024
Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Even sang "Happy Birthday" to my 88 year old mother and gave her a... card. Very kind people and great doctors.
- Jan. 15, 2024
Friendly staff and Dr Temple takes the time to answer any questions you may have. Overall great expe... rience!
- Jan. 13, 2024
Absolutely wonderful place to go! The staff here is amazing.
- Jan. 06, 2024
Friendly staff, great customer service, and the Dr. Go above and beyond.
- Dec. 22, 2023
The staff is awesome and very helpful!!
- Dec. 15, 2023
Today was my first visit, and it certainly wasn't the last. The staff were all friendly, helpful, a... nd professional. This was the most thorough eye exam I've ever had. The technician who performed the first set of tests was so good, and he eased my anxiety. I asked the doctor several questions, which she answered with thorough knowledge and explanations. She explained everything she was doing and finding. Each exam step was explained in detail, and they showed me the screens and explained what I saw. The technician who helped me choose frames was so honest. I specifically asked for her honest opinion; she even asked another technician, who gave her view, and I appreciated the honest opinion. The frames to choose from are extensive—so many choices. This will be my place for all future eye exams.

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Dry Eyes in Warsaw

Our optometry practice in Warsaw

Photograph of Scott J.  Caughell
Hours
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  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Consult Warsaw 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. Warsaw 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 Warsaw Family Eyecare to discuss dry eye management options. Let's work together to protect their eyesight and ensure a bright future.

(574) 267-3515