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Why Can Computer Use Cause Dry Eye?

With computer use being so prevalent, there’s been a significant uptick in dry eye syndrome. When a condition becomes commonplace, it may start to seem normal. Having eye irritation, vision syndrome, and dry eye is not normal. These are genuine and treatable conditions.


When’s the last time you were so fully immersed in your computer screen (including phones and iPads) that you didn’t even notice your eye irritation until after you finished what you were doing? For some people, the opposite is true. Eye issues can appear as difficulty concentrating, blurry vision, and watery or dry eyes.


The American Optometric Association states that as little as two hours a day in front of a screen can lead to computer vision syndrome. If you’ve ever felt tired, swollen, or itchy eyes with excess screen time, your body is warning you about your eyes. Eyestrain can lead to dry eye syndrome.

Another factor, according to a 2018 study, is that the “Use of computers and display devices with a screen decreases the number of eye blinks, leading to incomplete blinking, evaporation of tears, and subsequently to dry eye disease.” Counting eye blinks while sitting at a screen would be nearly impossible, yet there are steps you can take d to tend to your eye health and hydration.


Knowing that computer use can cause dry eye, you must check your setup, adjust for poor lighting and glare, and sit at a proper viewing distance in a good seating position— free of strain on your head and neck. Also, take frequent breaks, stay hydrated, and take time to “check-in” with your eyes while using screens. Most importantly, visit your doctor to have eye issues looked at and diagnosed promptly to prevent future eye infections or diseases.

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