Vision Therapy in Wilburton

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(425) 453-2020
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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74 Reviews
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- May. 10, 2024
Everyone at the office was super kind and helpful. Really easy to make an appt. The doctor himself w... as so knowledgeable and made me feel comfortable.
- May. 02, 2024
Always a pleasant experience with Dr McManus and his professional and friendly staff!
- Apr. 30, 2024
Had a problem with glasses and prescription. They took ownership and corrected both fast. Very nice ... place!!
- Apr. 17, 2024
Always the best experience here! I drove all the way from Ocean Shores because Dr McManus is the mos... t knowledgeable Optometrist I have ever seen and he has the best staff as well!
- Apr. 15, 2024
Dr. Manus and his staff are always very helpful and willing to take the time to explain how vision w... orks. This has been helpful in understanding what the correct course of action should be.
- Apr. 12, 2024
Much thanks to Emily and Dr. McManus for squeezing me into their busy schedule, testing and diagnosi... s of my eye issue. They are very professional and provide exceptional care!
- Mar. 20, 2024
Dr McManus is the best. He is thorough, thoughtful and so very knowledgeable. I won't trust anyone... else with my eyes. His staff is great as well.
- Mar. 05, 2024
Dr. McManus is great! He is pleasant, competent, caring, thorough. His staff are gracious and effici... ent.
- Feb. 21, 2024
Been seeing Dr. McManus for 15 years. Highly recommend.
- Feb. 13, 2024
Complete and comprehensive care. The entire staff made me feel welcome. Answered my questions and ... treated me very well in a totally professional manner. I will return for my next check up and maybe some updated reading glasses soon.
- Feb. 09, 2024
Truly the best. Dr. McManus and the front desk staff were all so patient, friendly and knowledgeable... . Dr. McManus really takes his time to figure out what you need and makes sure you understand what's going on with your eyes. I left the office feeling really relieved and dare I say, with my world a little clearer! Cost for out of pocket was reasonable. My only regret was not finding this office sooner. Thank you everyone!!
- Feb. 06, 2024
The office staff was great! Friendly and efficient just like Dr. McManus. After the pre testing, he ... gave me a thorough exam, and addressed all my concerns patiently. As a retired RN, I appreciated his knowledge and expertise and kindness.
- Feb. 01, 2024
Dr. McManus is the Best optometrist in Bellevue! Friendly/helpful staff ☺️
- Feb. 01, 2024
Quick, easy, friendly! Always a pleasant experience. Thank you!
- Jan. 23, 2024
Professional, kind, clean and as always the doctor and staff are efficient and wonderful.
- Jan. 19, 2024
The staff and Dr. McManus are friendly, caring, and helpful. I’ve been coming here for close to 20... years and highly recommend them!
- Jan. 19, 2024
Amazing office. I highly recommend.
- Jan. 11, 2024
A complete and thorough eye exam by a true professional A truly wonderful experience with the best o... ptometrist I’ve ever had
- Dec. 22, 2023
The staff was very punctual and friendly, especially Emily!! Dr McManus is always very kind and know... ledgeable! Sure did appreciate them fitting me in this morning!
- Dec. 15, 2023
Excellent service for eye care, they pay attention to previous issues and care about their patients....

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Dry Eyes in Wilburton

Our optometry practice in Wilburton

Photograph of Rick  McManus
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • Medicare
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  • EyeMed
  • VSP
  • Spectera
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  • TriWest
  • United Healthcare

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Consult Bellevue Vision for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(425) 453-2020