Do computers cause dry eyes?
Dry eye is a common and often debilitating condition that effects more people than ever before. It has many causes but one that many will be familiar with is prolonged computer use – especially in dry, air-conditioned environments. Staring at a screen causes our blink rate to plummet, and this allows the tears film to evaporate from the surface of our eyes. The tiny oil glands – meibomian glands – in our eyelids don’t do their job properly if we are not blinking fully or regularly enough and this results in a poorer quality tear layer.
How can I reduce dry eye symptoms associated with computer use?
Blink, blink and blink again! It’s all about quality when it comes to blinking. When we analyse the blink rate and blink quality of our patients we notice that they not only blink infrequently, but they also don’t fully complete their blinks.
You can train yourself to blink better by practicing. Use the 20-20-20 rule to guide you: Stand up from your desk every 20 minutes, look into the distance for 20 seconds and blink 20 times.
You can also use artificial tears in much the same way as you would use a moisturiser for your face. Our bodies haven’t evolved fast enough to keep up with the demands of modern living, and prolonged screen use in dry environments is particularly challenging. If your dry symptoms are not relieved by blinking and tear supplements, come and see us for a thorough dry eye assessment or CLICK HERE for more information.
Are computers bad for our children’s eyes?
Digital devices are here to stay. But, like most things in life, moderation is the key. It’s important to get the balance right. A recent study published in the Pediatrics Journal has shown that playing computer games for less than an hour per day, contributed to a child’s overall social and mental well-being. Children with no exposure to computers or, children who played for more than three hours per day were not as well adjusted.(3)