Vision Therapy in Manchester

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(636) 225-9300
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.

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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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229 Reviews
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- Mar. 26, 2024
Steve is awesome! Friendly and didn't make me feel rushed.
- Mar. 11, 2024
Excellent customer service care that is unmatched by anyone in this field of practice!! Great job by... everyone there. Thank you,
- Feb. 21, 2024
Excellent care from Dr Harring and his staff. Timely, efficient, and professional. Dr Harring exudes... confidence in a very attentive manner. It’s always a very positive experience.
- Feb. 18, 2024
Dr. Stephen Haring is personable and professional, not to mention thorough. He took his time during... my appointment and addressed my concerns. His staff is very friendly and were helpful while I chose my new glasses. Definitely would recommend West County Eyecare.
- Feb. 12, 2024
West County Eyecare fit me in the day I called with my eye issues. Staff was efficient and courteou... s. Dr. Haring is the best. I recommend them highly.
- Feb. 05, 2024
The office was clean and spacious. The staff were all very friendly and efficient. Dr Emily was prof... essional, knowledgeable, and had great bedside manner. I left feeling great. I would recommend this office.
- Jan. 20, 2024
The doctors and staff are professional and helpful! They go above and beyond!
- Jan. 18, 2024
I appreciated their timeliness and skilled care I receive during the exam.
- Dec. 08, 2023
Always willing to help in resolving issues
- Nov. 15, 2023
I really appreciate how thorough the exams are and how well Dr Pike explained the results.
- Nov. 01, 2023
Knowledgeable and friendly
- Oct. 31, 2023
Great experience and examination by Dr. Haring and his staff!
- Oct. 19, 2023
I loved my experience here. Everyone was so kind and helpful, and they were quick to get everything ... we needed done. Dr. Pike took the time to make sure my son got the right prescription, and by the time we left he was smiling. Great place!
- Oct. 17, 2023
Dr Emily Pile is awesome. Friendly service staff as well
- Oct. 14, 2023
I've been wearing glasses for over 50 years and WCE has been my favorite location by far and I have ... no intention of going anywhere else. Thanks Doctors Haring and Pike. You and your staff are the best!
- Sep. 17, 2023
Been going to Dr. Hairing for years. Always timely, personable and the staff is always great.
- Aug. 29, 2023
My appointments always begin on time, the entire staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and I get grea... t care for my vision. My whole family uses West County Eyecare. I highly recommend them!
- Aug. 05, 2023
Very good experience at West County. Staff was friendly, courteous, and professional. Facility was s... pacious and has all the latest equipment. Eye exam was thorough. Doctor listened to how I use my glasses and what my current needs were. Would gladly recommend to others.
- Aug. 05, 2023
Dr Haring and his staff make you feel like family go see them for your care you won’t be disappoi... nted
- Aug. 03, 2023
Great doctor friendly staff

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Dry Eyes in Manchester

Our optometry practice in Manchester

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Hours
  • Monday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Consult West County Eyecare for Digital Eye Strain Relief

Although lifestyle changes can be helpful, more effective dry eye management strategies may be necessary in some cases. West County 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 West County Eyecare to discuss dry eye management options. Let's work together to protect their eyesight and ensure a bright future.

(636) 225-9300