Vision Therapy in Acton

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(978) 263-8521
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
- Apr. 07, 2024
We had such a great experience with the doctors and optical staff we had to write reviews here and Y... elp. Great service and fast turnaround for our whole family.
- Jan. 05, 2024
How I wished Dr. Chia and I lived in the same state. I know under her care, I am in amazing hands an... d that if there was anything she would recommend to me, she would also do herself for sure. I went for a consult with Dr. Chia at her old clinic and she was very insightful and thorough with my check up. Gave me a lot of good advice as I was contemplating my next steps. She also saw my husband who did surgery way before but ended up with chronic dry eye. She gave us some really good advice and also recommended different eye drops that were healthier for the eyes as opposed to what we were using. If I could, I would follow Dr. Chia anywhere she goes as I trust her to provide the upmost care for me and my eyes. One of the reasons why I haven't pulled the trigger yet, despite my husband recommending I should over and over again, is because Dr. Chia is in another state and if I was going to do surgery, I would prefer to be in her care.
- Aug. 23, 2022
We love Niro eye care. They are real down-to-earth people. They get you in and out quickly with no h... ard sell for new glasses like other places.
- Oct. 11, 2021
The staff here is very friendly, very helpful, incredibly knowledgeable and just plain nice. I felt ... very listened to, no hard sells or pushes for anything, and no talking over. Clinic is clean, bright, easy to access and had a lot of great frame styles that fit all face shapes and personal styles. 100% recommend. Do yourself a favor and book an appointment.
- Jan. 07, 2021
Always get treated well. They are never pushy on things you don’t need. Always quick to schedule o... ver the phone and flexible with appointments. Patient and helpful with any questions I might have. Have been going for years and will continue.
- Feb. 06, 2018
Great personal service.
- Sep. 08, 2016
Dr Niro is great. The Optical department team is super. I only get my eyes checked and glasses here.... Been going for ...wow maybe 20 years?!

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Dry Eyes in Acton

Our optometry practice in Acton

Photograph of Joseph M. Niro
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Spectera
  • Superior Vision
  • Davis Vision
  • EyeMed
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

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Consult Niro Eye Care and Associates for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(978) 263-8521