The Link Between Dry Eye and Digital Eyestrain

Dry eye disease is typically induced by reduced tear film quality and fast-evaporating tears. The condition can be due to age, genetics, medical conditions, environment, and digital device use. Digital eyestrain is common in children and adults due to the prolonged use of digital devices. Eyestrain can worsen the symptoms of dry eye. 



Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome


People with dry eye syndrome experience various symptoms, including the following:


  • Eye redness

  • Dry, burning, or irritated eyes

  • Painful or stinging eyes

  • The sensation of something in the eye

  • Excessive tearing

  • Blurry vision

  • Light sensitivity

  • Discharge around the eyes



Symptoms of Digital Eyestrain 


Digital eyestrain, or computer vision syndrome, encompasses several symptoms that affect eye and physical health. It occurs due to prolonged digital device use. Symptoms of CVS include:


  • Frequent headaches

  • Blurred vision

  • Eyestrain

  • Neck and shoulder pain

  • Dizziness



Link Between Dry Eye and Digital Eyestrain


An increase in the use of digital devices, especially during the pandemic, increased dry eye syndrome cases. It led eye specialists to study the link between dry eye and digital screen use. Factors that cause eye dryness include exposure to blue light, glare, poor posture, poor viewing distance, and infrequent blinking. 


Individuals blink less when using digital devices. Blinking helps spread tears across the eye surface. Uncorrected vision problems can increase the risk of developing digital eyestrain. 



Relieving Symptoms of Dry Eye and Digital Eyestrain


Limiting screen use can help reduce symptoms, but it is not possible for those who use the devices for work. Several things can alleviate symptoms of dry eyes when using digital devices. Talk to your eye doctor about blue light eyeglasses, and remember to blink frequently when using the devices. 


Follow the 20-20-20 rule, where you take 20-second breaks every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away. Position your computer correctly to prevent glare, or use a screen filter. Improve your posture to avoid straining your joints and muscles.



Schedule Regular Eye Exams 


An eye exam can help determine the cause of your dry eyes. Tests can determine if you have an underlying condition that worsens digital eyestrain. The condition is more prevalent among women than men, mainly due to hormonal changes. It is also more common with age. 


Some health conditions and medications increase the risk of eye dryness. An exam will help in developing an effective treatment plan. Eye dilation will examine the inner eye. Treatment usually depends on the severity of the symptoms and underlying conditions. 


Most symptoms of digital eyestrain are temporary or short-term. Resting the eyes helps relieve symptoms. Improving your work environment and staying hydrated can help resolve the problem. If you wear corrective lenses, ensure you update the prescription as needed. In some cases, symptoms can be severe and long-lasting. Failing to resolve the issue can worsen the symptoms. 


For more information on the link between dry eye and digital eyestrain, visit Houston Dry Eye Clinic at our Houston, Texas, office. Call (713) 664-4760 to schedule an appointment today.