Vision Therapy in North Richland Hills

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(817) 281-3386

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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196 Reviews
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- Jul. 15, 2024
Dr Haley Vadilko is awesome! All of the staff are amazing! I would recommend to anyone.
- May. 18, 2024
Great friendly staff
- May. 09, 2024
Staff are all very friendly, doctor is thorough and they have early hours.
- May. 07, 2024
Dr. Vasilko and her staff are amazing. Definitely the best experience I've had for glasses and conta... cts (and I've been wearing glasses since I was in first grade). Courtney helped me pick frames that flattered my face and everything went great. Keep up the great work!
- Apr. 03, 2024
EXCELLENT! You know when some folks enter a room and the energy changes for the better! THAT was m... y experience with Dr. Mario Contaldi! He was VERY helpful and made it a GREAT visit. I'd give 10 stars if I could!
- Feb. 21, 2024
Dr. Vasilko is a great optometrist. Very informative and was quick to diagnose the problem my left e... ye was having! I will be coming back for future eye problems.
- Feb. 20, 2024
Great optometrist. Quick. Easy appointment and answered all my questions. The selection of glasses i... s immense. By far, the best selection of glasses in one place I have ever seen. The prices are reasonable. Recommended. The staff is knowledgable and easy to work with.
- Feb. 04, 2024
Great service for a perfect prescription!
- Dec. 28, 2023
Dr. Contaldi is the BEST!
- Nov. 14, 2023
I enjoy the personalized experience at Southwest Vision Center! The staff is super friendly, and th... ey make my yearly eye exams super easy.
- Nov. 02, 2023
Highly recommend. I no longer need reading glasses to read fine print due to RX change. Plus saved... money on contacts. Very nice staff. Best ever!
- Oct. 26, 2023
Great service! Friendly, welcoming, and professional. I'm glad I found them so close to where I live... .
- Oct. 17, 2023
Friendly staff, genuine interest in my vision, and clean environment.
- Sep. 01, 2023
Great staff and Doctor. Always friendly and professional.
- Aug. 22, 2023
Very nice experience, and I love my new glasses.
- Aug. 10, 2023
I've been going here since I was in elementary school, now I'm in my 30s! They've always been helpfu... l and staff has always been great. Definitely trust them with my vision!
- Aug. 01, 2023
Entire Staff is very professional and friendly. Highest level of customer service. Dr. Contaldi an... d Dr. Vasilko take the time to explain the process of what they do and why they do it and make sure you as a patient understand everything. Would highly recommend Southwest Vision Center to everyone!
- Jul. 31, 2023
Great staff, great frame options.
- Jul. 26, 2023
Love this Staff & Dr Contaldi he always have updated equipment for your exams & will over & above to... get you Right 💖
- Jul. 06, 2023
Friendly and understanding staff

View All 196 Reviews

Dry Eyes in North Richland Hills

Our optometry practice in North Richland Hills

Photograph of Haley  Vasilko
Hours
  • Monday 7:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday 7:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 7:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thursday 7:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Friday 7:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Spectera
  • EyeMed
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross

man using computer

Consult Southwest Vision Center for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(817) 281-3386