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.

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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141 Reviews
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- May. 16, 2024
Dr. Patel and the staff were super friendly and helpful. Most importantly, they are competent. Han... dled all questions and issues well. I also appreciated that they don't try to upsell services, unlike my previous eye doctor, who was obsessed with telling me I needed this or that extra diagnostic or treatment. Most importantly, Dr. Patel was the first optometrist I had who advised me that I could get "medically necessary" contact lenses covered by my insurance due to my high prescription. I can't believe my previous optometrist didn't do this. I could have saved thousands of dollars over the past several years.
- Apr. 18, 2024
Shout out to this place and everyone who works here. The new doctor is amazing and the ladies at the... front office are super nice and helpful! Highly recommended!
- Apr. 18, 2024
I have been going to this neighborhood Optometry practice for over 4 years now and I have always lik... ed the service and product choices. I like the previous doctor a lot, and the newest doctor Patel is great as well. Everyone at the store is nice and helpful, and they all appear to enjoy working there. I highly recommend!
- Mar. 28, 2024
Evanston Eye Wellness is a vibe
- Mar. 25, 2024
Dr. Patel is amazing and answered all my questions thoroughly!! The staff was very helpful and they ... had a great selection of frames. Will definitely be coming back.
- Mar. 22, 2024
I had a great experience with Dr.Patel. She is kind, understanding and goes out of her way to answer... all my questions. I would highly recommend her and this practice.
- Mar. 20, 2024
They make a darn good first impression - every staff member I spoke with was welcoming and helpful, ... ensuring I understood everything in the paperwork before signing. Dr. Patel put me at ease right away and offered clear explanations of my results.
- Mar. 16, 2024
Came in with my wife to look around as we are new to the area and let me tell you! The energy I rece... ived was so welcoming. I found a handful of frames I love, and the manager, Jessica, sealed the deal. You have to go yourself to experience it. I would highly recommend this place.
- Mar. 16, 2024
I absolutely love the professional service and selection of eyewear. The staff create a fun and frie... ndly atmosphere. I was recommended by a friend and will be calling to schedule my annual exam
- Mar. 15, 2024
Dr Patel is amazing and the staff really took the time to explain my benefits. Crystal was very pati... ent in selecting frames. I will definitely be returning.
- Mar. 15, 2024
Dr Patel is so thoughtful and kind. She really cares about my eye issues and answers all my question... s- no matter how ridiculous they are. The staff is very helpful and friendly.
- 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.

View All 141 Reviews

Dry Eyes in Evanston

Our optometry practice in Evanston

Photograph of Himanee  Patel
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • Tricare
  • EyeMed
  • Blue Care

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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