Vision Therapy in Pittsburgh

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

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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295 Reviews
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- May. 26, 2024
I have been using the SHV location for a few years now and I am always taken at my appointment time,... and the staff is always knowledgeable and kind. And my contacts usually come quicker than expected which is great!
- May. 11, 2024
Great customer service and eye exam
- May. 04, 2024
Great experience choosing glasses, fitting and picking them up!! Natalie was awesome.
- Mar. 29, 2024
Professional, on time appointment, thorough
- Mar. 15, 2024
Great place. Friendly and caring
- Feb. 26, 2024
Outstanding service, inventory, contacts and team members. Thank you
- Feb. 20, 2024
Great staff - always willing to make eyeglass adjustments for me and make sure I am satisfied before... leaving the store
- Feb. 14, 2024
Highly recommended, best place to get your prescription eyeglasses. Quick and right!
- Feb. 02, 2024
Really impressive customer service. The doc and the staff went out of their way to accommodate my n... eeds. Really appreciated.
- Jan. 27, 2024
Very friendly and professional!!
- Dec. 16, 2023
Great people who work there and I got my glasses earlier than expected ! I highly recommend
- Nov. 06, 2023
I went back to have some adjustments made on my new glasses with ease! They fit comfortably now and ... their service is efficient. Their staff members are very friendly and Nate is a very pleasant person.
- Oct. 27, 2023
20/20 Would highly recommend!
- Sep. 11, 2023
Can’t say enough good things ! I have a difficult prescription (extreme farsightedness) and Dr Sho... rt was very knowledgeable and thorough! The staff is fantastic ! I’ll never leave !
- Sep. 04, 2023
Friendly staff and bigger selection of frames. I love my glasses! Thank you guys ❤️
- Jul. 11, 2023
Great place! Quick appointment, fast turn around of glasses
- Apr. 26, 2023
Dr. Short is amazing and very thorough
- Apr. 12, 2023
Natalie was kind and very helpful with getting my sons rec specs
- Apr. 08, 2023
Best selection and phenomenal service!!
- Mar. 03, 2023
Excellent customer service and choice of frames.

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Dry Eyes in Pittsburgh

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Consult Eyetique - South Hills Village for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(412) 854-2222