Vision Therapy in Pleasant Hills

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(412) 653-3000
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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16 Reviews
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- Apr. 29, 2024
Excellent customer service, wonderful staff, and great Dr.
- Jan. 17, 2024
Best customer service, they take time to listen to your concerns and you don't feel rushed. I hig... hly recommend
- May. 05, 2023
Best customer service I’ve had in years! From the moment you step in the door, they’re kind and ... welcoming. They’ll help you with any registration needs and work with you and your insurance for payment. The doctor was the first optician I actually felt comfortable with. He was friendly, personable and confident. He explained exam results with ease. I felt well taken care of every step of the way! My contacts arrived at my home as promised and my glasses (using my own beloved frames) arrived at the office just days later. Not to mention, the entire facility was crisp and clean. 10/10!
- Jan. 19, 2022
Had a great experience today With my eye exam and glasses purchase. My wife, my kids, and myself all... go there and always have a good experience. Very helpful, prompt, and friendly. I also get way more information about my eye health than other places I’ve gone. They also have a really good selection of frames.
- Mar. 22, 2018
Can’t say enough good things about Dr. Aulicino and his staff. Everyone takes their time to explai... n to you your eye health and eye care options. I’ve been seeing Dr. Aulicino for over 15 years, and he is by far and away the best eye doctor I’ve ever had. His staff are always polite and helpful. Thank you to everyone at Vision Care Associates for your professionalism and courtesy whenever we visit.
- Apr. 05, 2017
Dr. Aulicino is a great doctor - thorough, personable, and really cares about educating patients abo... ut their eyes and eye health. The staff is extremely friendly and professional. Great place!

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Dry Eyes in Pleasant Hills

Our optometry practice in Pleasant Hills

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Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
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  • Spectera
  • Davis Vision
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  • National Vision Administration (NVA)
  • EyeMed
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • VBA
  • Blue Cross
  • MetLife
  • Aetna
  • UPMC Health Plan

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Consult Vision 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. Vision 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 Vision Care Associates to discuss dry eye management options. Let's work together to protect their eyesight and ensure a bright future.

(412) 653-3000