Vision Therapy in Providence

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(401) 331-2020
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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721 Reviews
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- Apr. 17, 2024
Wonderful place, nice people, superior service.
- Apr. 12, 2024
Excellent quality service 💯 percent
- Mar. 25, 2024
Everyone is very friendly. Got seen very quickly.
- Mar. 05, 2024
Dr. Wanna and his crew are the best,! Always friendly and professional. Highly recommended!!!
- Feb. 28, 2024
Very friendly and professional
- Feb. 13, 2024
Always great seeing and visiting Advanced Eye Care… since I was 8 years old !
- Dec. 13, 2023
Doctor was very knowledgeable
- Nov. 08, 2023
Great facility. Very thorough?
- Nov. 03, 2023
I really like this vision center. My optometrist (Dr. Arias) is very knowledgeable and thorough, and... all the staff with whom I've interacted have been friendly and efficient.
- Oct. 11, 2023
Was easy to make appt. online; staff was great; nice selection of quality frames.
- Oct. 01, 2023
Who likes going to the eye doctor? I do! They do a great job. Dr. Sylvia is wonderful as is his s... taff.
- Sep. 27, 2023
Friendly, Prompt and Efficient.
- Sep. 19, 2023
Excellent
- Sep. 16, 2023
Amazing staff love my daughter...
- Jul. 25, 2023
Great staff. Kind, knowledge,timely doctors. Great eye glass selection and helpful, happy assistants... in the eye glass center. All question answered thoroughly. Highly recommend.
- Jun. 28, 2023
Efficient, top notch care. I feel very comfortable with everything that they do.
- Apr. 14, 2023
Very professional, friendly and kind staff. Dr. Cox is very thorough and easy to communicate with... .
- Apr. 11, 2023
Very nice and caring they show compassion!
- Mar. 14, 2023
I broke my glasses last night and they were able to take care of them with an extra frame I had in u... nder a half hour. They were quick convenient and kind. I highly recommend.I am extremely satisfied!
- Feb. 24, 2023
Excellent care and exam. Very professional and thorough.

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Dry Eyes in Providence

Our optometry practice in Providence

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Hours
  • Monday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:30 am - 1:00 pm
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Consult Advanced Eye Care Associates for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(401) 331-2020