Tips to Prevent Dry Eye Symptoms Due to Screen Use

Dry eye symptoms are annoying, and the incidence continues to increase as more people use digital screens. As you can imagine, it's a big problem worldwide. Learn all about it in this article!
Tips to Prevent Dry Eye Symptoms Due to Screen Use

Last update: 29 March, 2021

Dry eye symptoms are more prevalent in those who use digital screens. In fact, about 90% of the population uses screens every day and spends more than eight hours in front of these devices.

People usually blink every five seconds. However, you blink five times less when looking at a screen. As a result, tears evaporate faster, leading to dry eyes.

The number of people who suffer from dry eyes around the world is around 344 million. However, more than half of those with it haven’t been diagnosed.

Do you know the causes and symptoms of dry eye?

This is a condition in which the surface of the eye isn’t properly protected by tears. Thus, the main cause is insufficient tear production, poor tear quality, or a combination of both.

The tear is composed of three layers and its quality depends on its composition. However, the eyelid is essential to distribute the tears and remove impurities.

A woman with dry eyes.

Causes of dry eye

These are some of the causes:

  • The use of digital screens
  • Some medications
  • The use of contact lenses
  • The use of eye drops with preservatives
  • Hormonal changes such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause
  • Aging
  • Environmental factors such as pollution, heat, and wind
  • An unbalanced diet or lack of vitamins
  • Stress

Know that contact lenses hydrate from your tears and decrease ocular sensitivity, affecting the tear production reflex. Also, preservatives in contact lens products and artificial tears tend to aggravate dry eyes.

Dry eye symptoms

The use of digital screens can lead to:

  • Eye fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light from the screen
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision

Those who wear contact lenses may experience eye irritation, itching, decreased vision, red-eye, and even pain. However, other dry eye symptoms such as a gritty sensation and heaviness of the eyelids may also be present.

Dry eyes during menopause.

Ways to avoid dry eye symptoms due to screen use

Some of the tips to curb the onset of dry eye symptoms are:

  • Use good quality screens or filters to decrease reflections.
  • Also, try to reduce the screen exposure time by taking periodic breaks.
  • Force yourself to blink regularly.
  • Also, perform eye exercises: look near-far, left-right, and do circles
  • Adopt a proper posture in front of the screen, maintain the right viewing angle, and take breaks every 20 minutes.
  • Finally, use artificial tears to hydrate and obtain relief.

You may also be interested in Presbyopia or Eyestrain

Other recommendations

Those who use contact lenses should maintain good eye hygiene and clean and maintain them. This is because the proper handling of contact lenses helps prevent conjunctivitis and other infections.

Be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your contact lenses. Also, don’t use them for long periods of time and don’t sleep with them on, and wipe your eyelids regularly without preservatives or phosphates.

Use low-viscosity, preservative-free artificial tears that are suitable for use with contact lenses. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes when exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Also, avoid smoky, dusty, or chemical environments, as well as the use of products intended to bleach the eyes. You may benefit from the use of humidifiers to keep environmental dryness at bay.

Conclusion

Finally, it’s important to remember that dry eye is a chronic disease you can control. One of the solutions to manage it is the use of moisturizing drops.

Consult your pharmacist or physician to find out if your medications might be causing dry eyes as a side effect.

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