Vision Therapy in Cincinnati

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(513) 530-0440
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
4.7
273 Reviews
5
4
3
2
1
- Feb. 23, 2024
Dr Zelchak and his team take the time to answer every question and in terse I can understand. Highly... recommend!!
- Feb. 14, 2024
I've been a patient of Dr Kirstein for 35+ years. He is kind, easy to talk to & is a caring, intere... sted doctor.
- Feb. 07, 2024
I will go nowhere else to have my eyes examined except for Harper's Point Eye Associates. They have ... a variety of fashionable frames to choose from and the staff is friendly and helpful!
- Jan. 30, 2024
Great place they take medicaid. They were patient caring and took the time to do proper patient care...
- Jan. 27, 2024
Good location, good selection, good service.
- Jan. 20, 2024
I have been coming here for over 30 years. Have always had positive experiences.
- Dec. 29, 2023
everyone at Harpers Eye care is friendly, professional and respectful. They take time to answer que... stions if necessary and easy to work with.
- Dec. 13, 2023
Dr. Zelczak has been my eye doctor for twenty years. He's the best. I'll continue to refer my friend... s and family.
- Dec. 05, 2023
Continue with the great excellent service delivery to your patients. Live your great smiles people..... .
- Dec. 02, 2023
Great service and friendly staff.
- Nov. 03, 2023
Great staff
- Sep. 26, 2023
Excellent service and great Doc
- Sep. 16, 2023
I have seen Dr.Zelczak for years. He and his staff have always treated me with kindness and respect
- Sep. 12, 2023
Good people
- Sep. 02, 2023
Dr. Kirstein is *the best*. He and his staff provide excellent eye care in a friendly and profession... al setting
- Aug. 16, 2023
Dr. Z and his team provide excellent, professional eye care!
- Aug. 15, 2023
Great environment and awesome staff. Been going here for 20+ years.
- Aug. 08, 2023
I was very pleased with the service that was provided. Great staff highly recommend
- Jun. 30, 2023
the desk staff is always friendly and helpful, I appreciate having the opinion of the student intern... s, and Dr. Kirstein is the best, I have been going to his practice for for over 20 years and I would highly recommend them.
- Jun. 12, 2023
They were very polite and caring.

View All 273 Reviews



Dry Eyes in Cincinnati

Our optometry practice in Cincinnati

Photograph of Elliot  Kirstein
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 Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Spectera
  • Medicaid
  • Anthem
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • EyeMed
  • Blue Cross
  • MetLife

man using computer

Consult Harper's Point Eye Associates - Montgomery for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(513) 530-0440