The Correlation Between Screens and Dry Eyes

Screens have become a part of our daily lives at home, work and play. Whether you want to earn a living, shop for clothes online, order fast food, travel, engage in a hobby or watch funny YouTube videos, screens are usually part of the process–if not all–of the process. But the price of looking at screens all day could be worse than you realize. Studies have shown that the significant rise in looking at screens correlates with the rise in people diagnosed with dry eyes, sometimes called dry eye syndrome. If you have dry eyes in Burleson, TX, you may want to learn more about it.

How Screens Contribute to Dry Eyes
Dry eyes are a unique condition that develops with the eyes can’t or don’t make enough tear film to adequately keep the surface of the eyes moist. Tear film is a very thin layer of tears. Dry eye syndrome is sometimes—not always—caused by screens, but screens certainly exacerbate the problem, and can cause dry eye syndrome to develop in a person with otherwise healthy eyes.

Reduced Blinking
When we stare at screens, we tend to blink less frequently. Normally, blinking helps to spread a thin layer of tears, known as the tear film, across the surface of the eye. Reduced blinking during screen use can lead to inadequate tear distribution and subsequent dryness.

Decreased Frequency of Blinking
Studies have shown that when people stare at screens they tend to blink half as much as they usually do. This causes eye strain and contributes to having dry eyes.

Diminished Creation of Tear Film
Poor blink quality means that the eyes may be making tear film, but not enough. This is due to a tendency to blink “incompletely,” where the eyelids don’t close completely with each blink. This can lead to a tear film that’s not viscous enough to sufficiently coat the eyes.

Cumulative Damage
Over time, having inadequate moisture on the eyes due to diminished tear film can have a lasting effect on the eyes. This causes irritation, inflammation and discomfort, and can contribute to a chronic problem with dry eyes.

If you’re feeling like you have a lot of exposure to screens, or that your eyes are starting to feel dry a lot of the time, get in touch with your optometrist in Burleson, TX. We have treatment options and advice for your dry eyes.

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