Vision Therapy in Centerville

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

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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166 Reviews
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- Jun. 13, 2024
Friendly and knowledgeable, i would recommend
- Mar. 30, 2024
Very helpful
- Dec. 19, 2023
Wonderful exam and glasses purchasing experience. Would recommend to anyone and will be back in the ... future.
- Dec. 01, 2023
Everyone was very helpful and polite.
- Oct. 07, 2023
I was and done quickly.
- Aug. 14, 2023
Friendly welcoming staff and Dr. Guinn was very thorough and professional. Could use better magazine... s for the short time spent in the waiting room.
- Jun. 15, 2023
Great Doctor, great staff. Very reassuring that my retina was ok. Very friendly, very calming. Expla... ined everything in terms I can understand.
- Jun. 12, 2023
Very Caring Staff and well experienced as well as the Dr. very welcoming and takes care of my eyes a... s good as I can expect. My glasses are very awesome. Thank you IEC for being in Centerville, Iowa
- Jun. 10, 2023
Awesome staff!!
- Jun. 07, 2023
The staff and Dr. Alletto were very helpful and explained the exam and results in a way I could easi... ly understand! Thanks for a great first experience with an eye exam!
- May. 13, 2023
Fast friendly, very professional and detailed evaluation.
- May. 02, 2023
Great doctor, staff and quick exam time in and out under 30 minutes.
- Apr. 11, 2023
They are wonderful!!!
- Apr. 06, 2023
My new glasses that they helped me find in the beginning of new glasses search I so wasn't looking f... or these I was looking for something with smaller frames. But ended up loving these
- Mar. 25, 2023
Great Staff!! Highly recommend!!
- Mar. 22, 2023
Great staff! Very wonderful and friendly place. Would highly recommend to everyone especially if you... want fast appointments and accurate answers
- Mar. 21, 2023
great people
- Feb. 08, 2023
Great experience at IEC in Centerville, IA. Wonderful staff! Very helpful and friendly! Dr Daniel Al... letto is a great well educated doctor! They have state of the art equipment to test your eyes. We love going there!
- Nov. 30, 2022
Great staff friendly and informative.
- Oct. 09, 2022
I love the staff and the doctor. Everyone is very friendly and attentive to any need I may have. I h... ave never had a negative experience in all the years I've been going to IEC.

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Dry Eyes in Centerville

Our optometry practice in Centerville

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Hours
  • Monday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday 3rd Saturday by appointment only.
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Spectera
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross
  • Medicaid
  • MetLife
  • National Vision Administration (NVA)

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Consult International Eyecare Center - Centerville for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(641) 437-4099