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

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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348 Reviews
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- Feb. 06, 2024
The optometrist and all staff are super nice, detail-oriented, and helpful; I feel well taken care o... f each appointment!
- Jan. 25, 2024
Dr Martin and his staff are great at taking care of our family’s needs.
- Jan. 03, 2024
“Best glasses I’ve ever had. I can’t stop smiling” I’m happy we chose Clear View.
- Jan. 03, 2024
Dr. Martin is the best! Recommend him to everyone I love & care about!
- Dec. 15, 2023
Great staff. Great selection of eyeware. Dr. Martin truly cares about your eye health.
- Dec. 12, 2023
Dr Martin and his staff are very thorough and take the time to answer my questions. I've been a pati... ent in his practice for many years and appreciate his use of top of the line technology to provide the best diagnostics. Thanks!
- Dec. 06, 2023
I was in and out of my eye exam shortly. I never felt rushed when picking out frames and the gal tha... t helped me made it very fun - I’ve never had glasses before! The doctor gave me straight up info about my eyes which I appreciated. I got to look at all the diagrams of my eyes which was super cool! Great visit 10/10
- Oct. 27, 2023
Dr. Martin and his staff are professional but also offer personal caring that you just don't see at ... other eye businesses
- Oct. 21, 2023
Laura and the staff was such a great help!! They made me feel very welcomed!! And I was able to pick... out the cutest glasses at a good price!! Thank you clear view vision care!
- Oct. 17, 2023
Everyone was friendly and professional, and the service was way above par.
- Sep. 29, 2023
Everyone was nice friendly and helpful!
- Sep. 26, 2023
Fantastic experience.
- Sep. 22, 2023
Excellent as always . Highly recommend Dr Martin
- Sep. 18, 2023
I have been going to Dr Martin for several years and this year he identified a potential problem wit... h my eyes. I am only 42 and this issue is normally something that comes up much later in life, but it can lead to blindness so it's quite serious. Dr. Martin immediately emphasized to me how important it was to follow up with a retina specialist and I could tell that he was trying to be careful not to cause undue stress but also that it was not something to take lightly. He had his staff get me an appointment (they even fought to get it moved up to a sooner date than what was originally available on my behalf). It turned out to be serious enough that i needed to have surgery on both eyes. To have a doctor who really CARES about your well being and isn't just pushing through as many patients as they can to make the most money possible is so refreshing. I highly recommend Clear View Vision!!!
- Sep. 18, 2023
Best eye doctor in Tucson !!!
- Sep. 15, 2023
Dr Martin has been my optometrist for decades and I recommend him to everyone I know. I have a fairl... y extreme prescription and I am always well taken care of.
- Sep. 06, 2023
Dr Martin is very nice and is knowledgeable with Dry eye syndrome And all his staff are so kind and... friendly
- Aug. 22, 2023
Excellent service.
- Aug. 08, 2023
They have very professional service but the staff and the doctor cares for the patient as a person.
- Jul. 27, 2023
Wonderful, caring doctor and staff. Care is first-rate, up to date, and at the highest professional ... standard. You can trust Dr. Martin with your eyes!

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Dry Eyes in Tucson

Our optometry practice in Tucson

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Consult Clear View Vision Care for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(520) 327-9411