Vision Therapy in Evanston

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

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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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122 Reviews
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- Jan. 06, 2024
Great staff & the the most current technology. Highly recommend!
- Dec. 14, 2023
I’m grateful to have a doctor who is helping me with total eye care! This includes issues of dryne... ss, inflammation of the skin around my eyes, fewer rather than more products and help finding safe products.
- Nov. 05, 2023
Wonderful staff, friendly, helpful, and great service!
- Oct. 10, 2023
Great place - friendly and professional. So glad to find them here in Evanston!
- Sep. 06, 2023
I love Dr. LaBrosse and the staff! Very welcoming. Dr. LaBrosse works hard to ensure all of your vis... ion needs are met.
- Aug. 20, 2023
Personalized care!
- Aug. 12, 2023
Excellent eye care
- Jun. 29, 2023
Very good experience
- Jun. 25, 2023
I really appreciate Dr Deana LaBrosse adjusting her schedule to accommodate my appointment. The staf... f is friendly and professional.
- Jun. 19, 2023
Dr. LaBrosse is smart, trustworthy, and open.
- May. 27, 2023
Recommended by a friend and could not be more pleased. Dr. LeBrosse is thorough in her exam, recomme... ndations, and explanations. She is also personable, caring, and professional. Her staff is responsive, helpful and personable as well
- May. 26, 2023
Friendly, professional, expert care
- May. 18, 2023
Dr LaBosse is a great optometrist. She uses a holistic approach, such as diet and vitamins for spec... ific eye issues. The frame selections is great but most, not all, are pricey. Most are unique styles and colors. I’ve purchased three pairs of eye glasses in the past five years and I’ve received many complements on all of them. The office is bright and well appointed. The staff are friendly and very helpful.
- Mar. 30, 2023
The most knowledgeable, skilled, and caring optometrist I've ever had. Dr. LaBrosse has gone over an... d above to care for me and my family over the years. Her outstanding care plus the professional environment of Evanston Eye Wellness make it easy for me to recommend her. Be aware, this is not the place to go for a quick and cheap upgrade for your glasses or contacts; folks have plenty of options for those services. Evanston Eye Wellness is really more like a medical office that provides full-service care for your eyes... and it also happens to have great frames and a fun, fashion-forward appeal.
- Mar. 08, 2023
An overall good experience with Dr. LaBrosse and staff. Very professional, friendly and thourough. I... would definately recommend and will be returning.
- Jan. 31, 2023
A small boutique eye doctor that is also friendly, personable and most importantly, places an emphas... is on holistic health. I think this is a rare gem in eye care! I highly recommend Dr LaBrosse!
- Jan. 14, 2023
Dr. LaBrosse is outstanding!! She's knowledgeable, kind, patient and takes the time to explain the ... exam results. The staff are great and the shop has an impressive selection of frames.
- Jan. 11, 2023
Everyone is friendly and polite. Dr. LaBrosse is considerate and thorough in her approach to treatme... nts.
- Dec. 30, 2022
Very kind, very thorough!
- Dec. 23, 2022
Great customer service!

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Dry Eyes in Evanston

Our optometry practice in Evanston

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Consult Evanston Eye Wellness for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(847) 859-6877