What to Do about Dry Eyes and Computer Use

By Walter Choate on May 28, 2019

A woman rubbing her eyesDry eye syndrome is an uncomfortable condition that leaves the eyes constantly feeling dry and irritated.

Today, it's common for people to spend hours staring at a computer screen. Unfortunately for some people, this can lead to dry eyes. At Choate Eye Associates, Dr. Walter Choate helps patients dealing with dry eyes from computer use at our Goodlettsville, TN practice. If dry eyes are bothering you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome can affect people in different ways. Some may feel mild symptoms, while others have more severe issues. If you regularly experience one or more of the following issues, you may have dry eye syndrome:

  • Eyes that feel irritated
  • Burning eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eyes that feel gritty
  • Eye strain or fatigue

How Does Computer Use Lead to Dry Eyes?

It's important for eye health that the eyes stay moist and lubricated. Blinking helps keep the eyes moist by encouraging the release of tears and helping to distribute tears over the eyes to create a sort of protective film.

Unfortunately, when people use a computer, they generally blink less in order to focus on what they're seeing. Blinking less can reduce the amount of tears distributed over the eyes, causing the eyes to lose moisture and become dry.

Combine a lack of blinking with staring at a computer screen for a full eight-hour work day and any leisure time spent on a computer at home, it's not surprising that many people feel the effects of dry eyes from computer use.

How to Reduce the Risk of Dry Eyes When Using Computers

Dry eyes are a problem for many people in the Goodlettsville area who use computers on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of dry eyes.

  • Limit computer use if possible: Reducing time spent on a computer throughout the day can help prevent dry eyes. Those who need to use a computer for work may not be able to reduce computer use during the workday, but limiting use in the home may help.
  • Use a humidifier when using a computer: A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help keep the eyes from drying out when using a computer.
  • Use the 20/20/20 rule: The 20/20/20 rule is intended to help people rest their eyes when using a computer or any digital device. To follow this rule, you will need to look at something 20 feet away from your computer screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
  • Increase text size: Small computer text can make people lean into their computer screens and open their eyes wide to try to see words more clearly, sometimes leading to dry eyes.
  • Try to blink frequently: Lack of blinking is one of the main reasons people develop dry eyes when using computers. Making a conscious effort to blink when using a computer can help.
  • Don't sit too close to your computer screen: Sitting too close to a computer screen can strain the eyes and cause them to become dry. Make sure your computer is at least an arms-length away to reduce strain.
  • Seek professional treatment: Dr. Choate offers patients in Goodlettsville and neighboring areas comprehensive care for dry eyes. Some patients benefit from artificial tears, hot compresses, or other treatments.

Learn More about Your Treatment Options

To learn more about treatment options for dry eyes from Dr. Choate, please call our friendly staff at (615) 851-7575 to schedule a consultation.

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Goodlettsville Office

306 Northcreek Blvd
Ste 101
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

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