Vision Therapy in Falmouth

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(508) 540-3937
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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90 Reviews
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- Apr. 16, 2024
Always great to deal with super professional people.
- Apr. 05, 2024
A quick an easy exam with the very professional staff at Cape Cod Vision.
- Apr. 03, 2024
Always a great visit; a welcoming atmosphere and top-drawer professional treatment.
- Feb. 20, 2024
Always a great experience! I've been seeing Dr. Childs since I was 12 years old. I wouldn't go to an... yone else.
- Feb. 07, 2024
Very friendly office & helpful to my needs. Dr Child deals with my vision problems the best and I ha... ve been coming to him for years.
- Jan. 25, 2024
Dr Child’s is awesome! Listens to my concerns anytime I have an issue, he has a plan.. our family ... has been going to him for several years.. the entire office is always welcoming and very helpful!
- Jan. 16, 2024
Outstanding, Superb, Fantastic....there are not enough adjectives to describe the great friendly and... very professional service that we always receive there. They are more thorough than my regular ophthalmologist and detect the same conditions...and then some! Both my wife and I heartily recommend Cape Cod Vision!!
- Jan. 04, 2024
Been going here for about 20 years. Always a very good and professional experience. Dr. and Staff ... are excellent. Highly recommend.
- Dec. 05, 2023
Very professional staff, friendly and knowledgeable. But the price of the glasses is a bit high over... all a good experience.
- Nov. 21, 2023
Extremely professional from the minute you walk through the door.
- Aug. 30, 2023
Everything great as usual. Highly recommend
- Aug. 25, 2023
Experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable staff.
- Aug. 10, 2023
Dr. Child and his staff are wonderful! I highly recommend them.
- Jul. 14, 2023
Great people, professional, friendly service!
- May. 31, 2023
I Have been going to Cape Cod Vision Associates for a few years now. Have had nothing but quality ca... re . Atmosphere has been pleasant as well as the staff. Dr Child is the best. Edna Davis
- May. 25, 2023
Great attention to detail. Super staff. They take the time to do it right.
- May. 16, 2023
Great office team, great tech and a great doctor. I highly recommend Cape Cod Vision!
- Apr. 11, 2023
I wouldn't be driving from Brewster to Falmouth if it wasn't worth it!!
- Mar. 30, 2023
This was my first visit to look into soft contact lens suitability. I left very impressed with their... operation. Their staff are courteous and efficient. Dr. Child was excellent in terms of his analysis, professional advice, and pleasant demeanor.
- Mar. 10, 2023
I Love Cape Cod Vision Associates, They're Vision is Awesome!!!

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Dry Eyes in Falmouth

Our optometry practice in Falmouth

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Hours
  • Monday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
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  • Mass General Brigham Health Plan
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  • Medicaid
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  • Tricare
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Consult Cape Cod Vision Associates for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(508) 540-3937