Vision Therapy in Elgin

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

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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.

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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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295 Reviews
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- Apr. 10, 2024
Very friendly staff. Huge selection of glasses to choose from
- Mar. 23, 2024
This is a great eye care place from to start to finish.
- Mar. 23, 2024
Awesome staff--friendly and helpful. Dr. Kennedy is awesome and explained all procedures and results... well. Great selection of eye glasses. They processed everything through with my insurance so it was extremely easy for me.
- Mar. 13, 2024
Great doctors and office staff. Professional and friendly. The providers are very thorough and take ... the time to answer questions, show images and explain any problems or concerns and refer out to other specialist when appropriate!!
- Feb. 29, 2024
Proper care and support. Did not try and sell me things which were unnecessary. They fitted my cur... rent expensive frames with the new lenses with a great final product.
- Feb. 17, 2024
I called at 9:30 am., and there was an opening for an eye exam at 10:30 am. the same day! Both of th... e doctors that I have had appointments with over the past 6 years, have been knowledgeable and thorough. Dr. Brauer discovered I had Narrow Angle Glaucoma, and referred me to an Opthomologist, who performed a Laser Iridotomy.👁
- Jan. 27, 2024
Our whole family sees Dr Kennedy! He’s top Notch!!! All our children totally trust him! He’s so ... kind and gentle to them! Very knowledgeable and thorough for his exams! Had an eye emergency and got right in to see him for a quick fix! Our family cannot say enough about Dr Kennedy! Gil is also very good in optical! Very knowledgeable and helpful!
- Jan. 24, 2024
Bree was excellent in the ‘pre-doctor’ exams. Dr. Kennedy was thorough and I finally feel I have... a true explanation of what is going on with my eyes.
- Jan. 20, 2024
I highly recommend Elgin Family Eye Care to everyone.
- Jan. 05, 2024
Great eye doctor and great staff. Very quick service and friendly staff!
- Dec. 09, 2023
I have been a patient for many, many years. From the moment I walk in and throughout my visit, the ... individuals at the front desk are always professional and friendly. The person who checked me in was also very helpful in answering any questions I had. Dr. Kennedy has always been professional and kind. He is thorough, patient and takes the time to listen to and answer your questions. At this time, I have no intention of going anywhere else for eye care. I have also had great customer service from everyone at Elgin Family EyeCare. Kudos to the staff.
- Nov. 19, 2023
The doctors are very knowledgeable and take their time explaining everything to you. Their sales ass... ociates are also very knowledgeable and take their time assisting you through the eyeglasses and contact purchase.
- Nov. 17, 2023
The staff and Doctors at Elgin Family Eye truly care and it shows in their interactions with patient... s and with each other. They are amazing and you will not be disappointed that you decided to book an appointment with them!
- Nov. 16, 2023
The very best eye doctor ever. Dr. Kennedy is so professional, extremely knowledgeable thorough expl... ains everything answered all your questions. You can tell he’s very caring passionate about his career. Thank you!
- Nov. 10, 2023
I highly recommend Elgin Family Eyecare. Dr. Brauer is wonderful!
- Nov. 08, 2023
The staff are all great - very helpful and kind. They seem interested in preventative care as well, ... with the exam that takes an image of the back of the eye. Never had that done before at any other eye doctor, but it was informative and interesting. Dr Kennedy made me feel comfortable and answered all my questions, even did a quick follow up exam after putting in my new contacts to ensure I had the correct prescription. Great experience!
- Oct. 31, 2023
Always a great experience!
- Oct. 26, 2023
Very helpful, welcoming and professional.
- Oct. 17, 2023
Amazing service. Great and friendly staff
- Oct. 13, 2023
Come back every year! Dr Nakajima is the best and very professional!

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Dry Eyes in Elgin

Our optometry practice in Elgin

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Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Spectera
  • MetLife
  • Blue Cross

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Consult Elgin Family EyeCare for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(847) 888-1555