Vision Therapy in Tucson

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

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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

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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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319 Reviews
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- Feb. 21, 2024
All of the people at Alvernon Optical are very attentive and very polite and helpful.
- Feb. 13, 2024
Always a great experience with Alvernon Optical. Staff and docs are always so caring and professiona... l. Great selection of contacts and glasses, plus super fast service!
- Feb. 09, 2024
Great staff, high level of excellence demonstrated!
- Feb. 02, 2024
The frame options are nice and comfy.
- Dec. 26, 2023
Extremely kind and courteous. They were also very efficient, I was in and out of there within about ... 40 minutes for an eye exam and to choose some new frames!! Really patient and informative and made sure to explain all my options and what my insurance covered. Couldn't recommend them enough.
- Dec. 13, 2023
Excellent staff and Dr's. Very friendly & professional. Don't change anything, keep doing what you'r... e doing
- Nov. 07, 2023
Dr. Paul Cinalli is experienced, knowledgeable and friendly. I had an easy and nonstressful experien... ce. He also gives a tremendous amount of feedback concerning your eyes.
- Oct. 31, 2023
They work with a lot of insurances. They are kind and patient and do a great job of explaining compl... icated material.
- Oct. 10, 2023
My new prescription matches my eyesight perfectly (thank you, Dr Cinalli!) and I love my new glasses... (thank you, Myranda, for helping me choose frames). I highly recommend Alvernon Optical!
- Sep. 16, 2023
I'll be going there for the rest of my life, they very good...
- Sep. 13, 2023
Wow...Fantastic experience all the way around today. The person whom greeted me and conducted the i... nitial tests, Dr. Laura S. was great and the person whom helped me with my glasses (forgot her name... 🙁 ). I'll keep coming back!!
- Sep. 04, 2023
Amazing place! Very friendly staff.
- Aug. 12, 2023
Great staff and overall good experience.
- Jul. 21, 2023
Great customer service year after year!
- Jul. 16, 2023
All the staff are great , I had one small issue and they went above and beyond to help me correct it... 🙂, I would recommend Alvernon Optical to all that is looking for somewhere to go for eye care
- May. 17, 2023
Easy and convenient to schedule exam, Dr & Staff are easy to communicate with and they demonstrate p... rofessionalism and knowledge.
- May. 01, 2023
I have been going yo Dr Cinalli for years. He is an amazing eye doctor who is super respectful & pro... fessional. His office always run on time and I appreciate them.
- Apr. 15, 2023
I have been going here for years and consistently have great and friendly service from the staff and... Dr. Cinalli! I highly recommend!!
- Apr. 02, 2023
My new glasses were a perfect fit and the service was excellent.
- Apr. 01, 2023
Outstanding experience at alvernon optical.

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Dry Eyes in Tucson

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Consult Alvernon Optical - Alvernon & 5th for Digital Eye Strain Relief

Although lifestyle changes can be helpful, more effective dry eye management strategies may be necessary in some cases. Alvernon Optical - Alvernon & 5th 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 Alvernon Optical - Alvernon & 5th to discuss dry eye management options. Let's work together to protect their eyesight and ensure a bright future.

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