Understanding the Link Between Dry Eyes and Digital Screens

Understanding the Link Between Dry Eyes and Digital Screens

Understanding the Link Between Dry Eyes and Digital Screens

Understanding the Link Between Dry Eyes and Digital Screens

Dry eyes and digital screens are often linked, and the condition is commonly referred to as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome.

Several factors contribute to dry eyes:

  1. Extended Screen Time: Prolonged use of digital devices increases the amount of time people spend looking at screens. Extended screen time can result in eye fatigue, dryness, and discomfort.

  1. Blue Light Exposure: Digital screens emit blue light, which can contribute to eye strain and disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle. Blue light exposure may also affect the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep.

  1. Screen Glare and Reflections: Glare and reflections on screens can force the eyes to work harder, leading to eye strain and dryness as the eyes try to adjust to the contrast and brightness.

  1. Poor Ergonomics: Improper positioning of screens or poor ergonomics can contribute to eye strain. If the screen is too close, too bright, or not at the right height, it can lead to discomfort and dry eyes.

  1. Inadequate Blinking Reflex and/or Reduced Blinking : Some individuals may have an inadequate blinking reflex, which can be exacerbated by prolonged screen time. This may lead to insufficient moisture on the eye surface.When people stare at digital screens, they tend to blink less frequently. Blinking is essential for spreading tears across the surface of the eye, keeping it moist. Reduced blinking can lead to dryness and discomfort. 


To alleviate symptoms of dry eyes associated with digital screen use, individuals can take several measures:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Take a break every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.

  • Blink Regularly: Be conscious of blinking more frequently to keep the eyes moist.

  • Use Artificial Tears: Over-the-counter artificial tear solutions can help lubricate the eyes and alleviate dryness, we recommend either Systane, Refresh, or Retaine MGD. At this time with all the current recalls we advise our patients to stay away from generic drops including any Equate Brand, CVS Health, and/or the Walgreens brand.

  • Adjust Screen Settings: Modify screen brightness, contrast, and font size for optimal viewing comfort.

  • Ensure Proper Ergonomics: Position the screen at eye level, use proper lighting, and maintain a comfortable viewing distance.

  • Drink More Water: Making sure you are properly hydrated helps to alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. If you cannot remember the last time you had a drink of water then it's been too long.


The link between Dry Eyes and Digital Screens can significantly impact eye health and daily comfort. Recognizing the signs, adopting preventive measures, and seeking timely professional advice are crucial steps in managing Dry Eyes effectively. If you experience persistent eye symptoms, give our office a call at (940) 240-8400 to schedule an appointment today.

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