Vision Therapy in Jefferson City

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(573) 635-1313
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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669 Reviews
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- Mar. 03, 2024
They have wonderful and patient doctors! My husband and I have both been there and I just saw Dr. He... dgpath at the new location. She took her time with me and listened to how complicated my situation was and even sent out referrals for me. 10/10 recommend!
- Feb. 23, 2024
Overall great experience, all staff was super helpful and great attitude. I would recommend!
- Feb. 22, 2024
I'm very happy with services received from Dr. Hedgpath and confident in her experience. Been going ... to her for years. The staff are also good at helping choose new glasses and making sure they are correctly fitted.
- Feb. 21, 2024
Love Dr. Zahn! He takes his time and explains everything to you. Willing to answer any questions o... r concerns you may have with your eyes. Gives you different options. Staff very nice and helpful. I did wait 45 min in the exam room waiting to see the Dr., but I didn't mind because I like the Dr. and staff that much. So don't be in a hurry.
- Feb. 20, 2024
The entire staff was very nice and knowledgeable in their field.
- Feb. 09, 2024
Dr. Zahn is great! Eye glasses are new to me and I noticed that he takes the time during the exam to... ensure that the prescription prescribed is the right one. I appreciated him breaking down everything for me so I understood.
- Feb. 03, 2024
Dr.Zahn is amazing. He is very knowledgeable and takes his time with patients. Staff is friendly a... nd willing to help you.
- Feb. 02, 2024
A very good experience. Staff was very friendly and helpful.
- Feb. 01, 2024
Dr. Zahn and the staff are friendly and professional. The opticians are not pushy and very helpful.
- Jan. 30, 2024
Jamie was very kind and helpful!
- Jan. 28, 2024
Dr. Zahn and his staff are amazing!! I would highly recommend them for any optometry needs! Dr. Zahn... is an incredible doctor. He has one of the most calming and friendly demeanors I’ve ever come across, and he truly cares about his patients. I recently went for ocular migraines and shared my fear that this may be something more. He immediately jumped into action, shared some stories about ocular migraines and how they are diagnosed, tested multiple things, then thoroughly explained why he wasn’t worried. He even went a step further and offered to send me to a specialist even if it was only to give me peace of mind. He always takes the time to answer any questions I have, crack a few jokes, and ensure I leave not worrying about anything! The staff is also incredible! Everyone I’ve encountered has been very friendly and happy to answer any and all questions I have. They also understand budgets and will happily run scenarios through insurance to come up with estimates before you have to decide anything, without making you feel like it’s a hassle. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Zahn and his staff!
- Jan. 01, 2024
Great service, great glasses fast!
- Dec. 21, 2023
Eyes on Missouri has done a wonderful job with my whole family. They make my children comfortable an... d explain things in a way that they understand. They are flexible and helpful from the office staff to the eye doctors. Most recently I brought my kiddo to her appointment to get contacts (she was SO EXCITED) and I got the date off by a month. They were so kind to squeeze her in, eventhough it was my scheduling mistake. They talked her through the process and helped her every step of the way. I would 100% recommend them!
- Dec. 21, 2023
Dr. Zahn was professional, courteous, and knowledgeable, took his time with my appointment, answered... all of my questions, and was very laid back. I won't be going to anyone else.
- Dec. 20, 2023
Dr Zahn is such a great easy going quick but accurate and makes it look so effortless. The staff li... ke ms Jamie is so nice and very helpful and makes you feel a little bit of like a ray of sunshine before you exit their building. Totally recommend this place over any other place in the area.
- Dec. 11, 2023
Always great service!
- Nov. 30, 2023
The eye doctors are excellent at doing their job and listening to the patience. The staff is friendl... y professional and always smiling
- Nov. 19, 2023
Always a great experience!
- Nov. 08, 2023
Dr. Zahn was fantastic! Very thorough and easy to talk to about any issues I was having with my eyes... . The staff was inviting as well! I will definitely continue to go to Eyes on Missouri and recommend to any of my friends/ family!
- Nov. 03, 2023
Always a great experience with Dr. Shan! He is professional, courteous, and wicked smart. Always fun... to get my eyes checked bc the conversation always makes me smarter!! Would def recommend for your eyesight needs.

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Dry Eyes in Jefferson City

Our optometry practice in Jefferson City

Photograph of Elizabeth  Hedgpath
Hours
  • Monday 7:15 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 7:15 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 7:15 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Spectera
  • Anthem
  • Medicaid
  • MetLife

man using computer

Consult Eyes On Missouri - Jefferson City for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(573) 635-1313