Vision Therapy in St. Augustine

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(904) 824-0212
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
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146 Reviews
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- May. 17, 2024
My appointment was kept on time, and Dr Horning was very knowledgeable, friendly, and thorough
- May. 08, 2024
Prompt,professional,and complete eye examination and evaluation.
- May. 03, 2024
Staff was welcoming & friendly. Dr Horning was personable & professional. I had a great experience a... t Rowe family Eye Care
- Apr. 11, 2024
Dr. Pearl and his staff are professional, dedicated, and kind.
- Apr. 09, 2024
Dr. Pearl is wonderful. The staff was friendly and efficient.
- Apr. 09, 2024
Always a good experience
- Apr. 06, 2024
Love Dr. Brown - she seems to genuinely care and is not in it just as a job.
- Apr. 03, 2024
I was visiting Florida and needed some contact lenses. The wonderful people at Rowe’s helped me ou... t and I am so appreciative!! Thank you so much!
- Mar. 27, 2024
Highly recommend this practice! Dr Brown was so patient and thorough with my daughter’s exam! She ... also had amazing bedside manner and took the time to learn about her and explain things well.
- Mar. 23, 2024
Great family eye care office! Dr. Brown is very thorough and knowledgeable. I was very happy with my... experience.
- Mar. 22, 2024
Excellent care as always! Thank you Dr Brown and Amanda. Can’t wait to pick out my new glasses �...
- Mar. 13, 2024
Great knowledgeable and friendly staff, highly recommend Rowe Family EyeCare!!
- Mar. 09, 2024
Dr Brown very proficient and effective communication skills.
- Mar. 07, 2024
The staff was friendly and helpful from the exam to finding the perfect frames. If you or a friend n... eed an eye exam, go and support Rowe Family Eyecare.
- Mar. 06, 2024
Dr. Brown is amazing, genuinely cares about her job and patients, and is friendly and personable whi... le providing services. The rest of the staff is the exact same. I will definitely be coming back in the future 🙂
- Feb. 27, 2024
Dr. Horning was very thorough and took the time and attention that most places do not give any more.... Great staff that is friendly, knowledgable and patient. Highly recommend Rowe Family Eyecare.
- Feb. 22, 2024
Friendly, detailed explanations, and an overall pleasant experience. I would definitely recommend.
- Feb. 21, 2024
Go see Dr Brown.
- Feb. 18, 2024
The best staff I have ever seen in eye care!!! They have the mix of professional with friendly down!... Love this staff!
- Feb. 12, 2024
My eyes are very important to me, I feel confident with Dr Horning, he is thorough and caring. I hi... ghly recommend Rowe Family Eye Care

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Dry Eyes in St. Augustine

Our optometry practice in St. Augustine

Photograph of James A.  Horning
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
  • May. 27 Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Superior Vision
  • Davis Vision
  • EyeMed

man using computer

Consult Rowe Family EyeCare for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(904) 824-0212