Vision Therapy in Bellevue

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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568 Reviews
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- Nov. 14, 2023
Recently moved to Bellevue and had to start looking for a new place for my annual eye checkup. Found... this place and I have no complaints about them. Dr. Jones and her staff were very friendly and patient. Dr. Jones educated me the difference between the contact lens brands and helped me save a little more on the contacts. Lots of parking spots in front of the building.
- Jun. 29, 2023
Was worried about blurriness in my left eye. They got me in within a few days. Dr. Lindberg did va... rious procedures to determine a little progression of pre-cataracts but not glaucoma or macular degeneration. Very confident in Dr. Lindberg and he has a pleasant, reassuring manner. Thanks!
- Jun. 02, 2023
Dr. Kwong is a great and patient doctor. I’ve been seeing her for over 5 years and have always had... positive experiences with her and her assistant.
- Jun. 01, 2023
I’ve been coming to the eye care center for many many years, and I couldn’t even think of going ... anywhere else. They take such good care of you from the minute you walk in, all the way to meeting the doctor and the staff is fabulous I highly recommend them.
- May. 19, 2023
Great staff. Atmosphere is very tranquil and they got me in within just minutes of my appointment ti... me. Five out of five stars.
- May. 17, 2023
Professional, positive and very helpful.
- May. 05, 2023
Thorough, easy, friendly, clean. 10/10 Highly recommend.
- May. 03, 2023
Wonderful experience from start to finish. I highly recommend this very professional and extremely p... ersonable optometrist office. They really go above and beyond. I never feel pressured to purchase frames or services. They care about my needs over trying to make a sale, and in this day and age that is amazing!
- May. 01, 2023
Friendly, professional, glad to have found this place
- Apr. 29, 2023
Very good care, friendly and warm, would recommend my friends and family to the Eyecare Center. Look... ing forward to many years of being apart of this center.
- Apr. 26, 2023
Dr Jones was so lovely with my daughter, and patient to explain the exams to us.
- Apr. 25, 2023
I've been a patient of The Eyecare Center for 30 years. The doctors and staff are true pros and use ... the latest tech to track the health of my eyes. Highly recommended.
- Apr. 20, 2023
Peofessional and well service.
- Apr. 19, 2023
I've been going here since I was a child. Now my children experience the high level of care I've bee... n blessed to have. I've always been in good hands with folks who care about our eyes in a authentic and beautiful way.
- Apr. 11, 2023
They got me in quick because of eye problem and answered all my questions.
- Apr. 09, 2023
Every staff is very nice and professional!
- Apr. 08, 2023
Happy ro have been referred. I'm actually texting this after using Vuity drops for the first time an... d...without needing my glasses! This office provides great customer care.
- Apr. 07, 2023
Dr Lindberg is absolutely awesome and has helped me navigate complicated eye care decisions with eas... e.
- Apr. 04, 2023
Warm, friendly and attentive staff. I've been a customer of this location a very long time and they ... do a great job. Dr Kwong is dedicated and passionate about her work and it shows in her work ethic and patient relations. Definitely go here if you're looking for quality optometry and lenses!
- Apr. 03, 2023
We are from out of state and we came for a trip to Seattle. My little brother wears dream lens, whic... h requires a plunger to pull the lens out. Our family forgot it at home, and so we spent all morning scrambling for a place where they had those plungers. Soon, we finally found this office. The lady at the front desk was so nice and they gave us the plunger free of cost. To the front desk lady: thank you so much for helping my brother!

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Dry Eyes in Bellevue

Our optometry practice in Bellevue

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Hours
  • Monday 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Consult The Eyecare Center for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(425) 455-0001