Can Digital Eye Strain Contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome?
So one question I get a lot is does computer use or digital screen use cause or contribute to dry eye syndrome and the truth is that it kind of does because when we’re really really focused on a screen, we don’t really blink that much. We’re supposed to blink about 12 to 15 times a minute. And again, when we’re really concentrated, especially when it’s on a screen we’re only blinking about two to three times a minute, that alone can really dry out the ocular surface.
But it can also happen is stasis of oil in the eyelid so it doesn’t come out normally and actually, that can contribute to excessive tear evaporation, which is actually one of the causes of evaporative dry eye, so that can really, really dry out the ocular surface.
One thing that we need to remember to do is once again do the 20-20-20 rule. I’ve talked about this before. There are apps for blinking exercises and there are tons of treatment for both evaporative dry eye or digital eye strain, which is really what this is. So if you are experiencing dry eye as a result of prolonged use of computers or iPads or phone, go to your eye doctor and see what the options are. But don’t forget to blink regularly and use the 20-20-20 rule.
Related post: Is Too Much Screen Time Really Bad for My Kid’s Eyes?