Vision Therapy in Great Falls

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(703) 759-0061

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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107 Reviews
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- Jun. 20, 2024
Dr. Runke is great! Highly recommend!
- Jun. 14, 2024
Dr. Runke is thorough with a gentle nature symbiotically merging historical experiences with predict... ive analytics.
- Mar. 26, 2024
Dr. Runke provided a thorough eye exam as always. Staff are friendly and helpful. I highly recommend... Dr. Runke and Great Falls Eyecare!
- Feb. 21, 2024
My wife and I have been at this Great Falls eye are for over 20 years. Wonderful staff, they are fri... endly and knowledgeable. This eye care is very clean and has a variety of glasses to choose, I would recommend to anyone who needs an eye care.
- Feb. 06, 2024
I have received top quality eye care at Great Falls Eyecare for over 10 years now! The doctors are ... expert and professional, listen to you and very patiently answer your questions. I highly recommend this practice!
- Feb. 03, 2024
Been coming here since we moved to Great Falls in the ‘90’s. Drs Runke and Anderson are thorough... and take the time to listen to your concerns. They also explain why they do the various tests they perform. I’ve even stayed with them and paid out of pocket when my employer changed its insurance and no longer included this practice. Highly recommend!
- Jan. 06, 2024
Thank you Dr. Runke for great service I received from you and staff.
- Jan. 05, 2024
Great staff and the doctors are friendly and informative. If you have questions they answer them unt... il you have no more and they give it to you straight.
- Dec. 29, 2023
Incredibly friendly and welcoming staff - Dr. Runke even sent a personalized thank you card. Incredi... bly thoughtful and great service.
- Dec. 20, 2023
I am very happy to have landed an appointment with Dr. Runke. All testing and results were thoroughl... y explained.
- Dec. 03, 2023
Professional, courageous and great service
- Oct. 25, 2023
I have been seeing Dr. Runke for several years. I really enjoy working with the whole team at Great ... Falls Eyecare. Dr. Runke has so much expertise, I feel privileged to have her taking care of my eyes.
- Oct. 24, 2023
Dr. Runke was attentive and competent. She conducted a thorough exam and provided new eyeglass presc... riptions for which the glasses are being made .i recommend Great falls highly.
- Oct. 21, 2023
Dr. Runke is a wonderful optometrist who takes the time to really understand your needs. Up todate t... ecnology and a comprehensive exam. She is far superior to my previous optometrist. The staff is also lovely - warm and professional. I highly recommend this practice.
- Oct. 21, 2023
I had a great experience with the team at Great Falls Eye Care. From the moment I walked in to the m... oment I left, everyone was professional, kind, and helpful. I can't wait to get my new glasses, and I'll definitely be a repeat customer.
- Oct. 18, 2023
Perfection.
- Oct. 11, 2023
Wonderful eye care practice! Thorough exams, prescribed a brilliant prescription so that I can see f... ar and read without readers. So thankful and grateful!
- Sep. 23, 2023
Excellent service and staff! Doctors are very patient explaining you in detail what is going on and... any question you have . Thank you very much Great Falls Eye Center!
- Aug. 20, 2023
Dr. Anderson, Jodi, and the receptionists were all great in every aspect! Best experience I've had a... t an optometrist.
- Jul. 31, 2023
We have been patients of Dr. Runke for more than 20 years. After a recent move to Miami, we still co... me back to see her. And it's worth it.

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Dry Eyes in Great Falls

Our optometry practice in Great Falls

Photograph of Lisa  Anderson
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Saturday Please call office for hours.
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • Medicare Part B
  • United Healthcare
  • VSP

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Consult Great Falls Eyecare for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(703) 759-0061