Vision Therapy in White Bear Lake

The Connection Between Screen Time and Dry Eye

(651) 426-2747
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.

boy playing VR game


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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398 Reviews
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- Feb. 21, 2024
My entire family came here for our eye care. The Dr and staff were very friendly, patient and consid... erate when it came to our different vision needs and the special care we all needed. We are very satisfied with the service and our glasses we received. Thank you for your professionalism, patience, kindness, curtesy, expertise, experience, knowledge and skills. Your service was exceptional and I highly recommend your office to all my friends and family and to anyone looking for good service.
- Jan. 27, 2024
Staff was professional and friendly.
- Jan. 23, 2024
The clinic and staff are a blessing in my life and have turned a "have to do" chore into a "looking ... forward to going in" positive experience. It is wonderful to see them . . . in more ways than one!
- Jan. 13, 2024
Everyone was friendly, caring, and competent.
- Jan. 05, 2024
Professional, knowledgeable and excellent choice of frames.
- Dec. 30, 2023
Dr. Lucas are excellent . They are skilled, work well with their clients and are highly recommended... . I would recommend them to everyone.
- Dec. 29, 2023
As a new patient in serious need of an appointment the front desk staff of the Birch Lake Eye Clinic... worked quickly to find me an appointment as soon as possible. Dr Lucas and his assistant were great and very informative. I felt very at ease in this clinic and will return.
- Dec. 22, 2023
So much positive about your staff! I wish I knew all their names. My first contact was Mark on the... phone. So patient, kind and understanding. The receptionist was amazing. I think she could read my anxiety. The eye technician to the doctor simple the best. But they captured my heart when my temporary (trial lens) ripped the night before my flight to visit my daughter. I went into the clinic and most fabulous (so sorry I cannot remember her name) went the extra mile and got the lens I needed. From another location driven to me by an employee. She also researched my insurance policy and found coverage for a pair of glasses. Helped me pick out a frame. My anxiety was at a 10 plus. She was so calming and made me feel I was important. ❤️
- Dec. 17, 2023
Dr. Brad Schwantke is an amazing eye doctor. He’s kind and friendly and knowledgeable. He instantl... y put me at ease and answered all of my questions. He made going to the eye doctor very pleasant. I will definitely be back. As a nurse, I’ve met a lot of doctors, and he is in my top 10.
- Dec. 14, 2023
This place is the best! They genuinely care. They got me in immediately with my concerns of a floate... r and flashes of light in my right eye. The doctor was so kind and also extremely knowledgeable and very easy to talk to. Everyone there is so nice and also professional. I also got glasses there a few months ago and they're perfect! I highly recommend them!
- Dec. 14, 2023
Professional, knowledgeable courteous
- Dec. 08, 2023
Fast and informative customer service. Would highly recommend to anyone. Super friendly staff.
- Dec. 07, 2023
Always great personalized service and care from Dr. Schwanke.
- Nov. 26, 2023
Best eye place I have ever went to
- Oct. 30, 2023
Phenomenal team at every step! Well done!
- Oct. 26, 2023
Alice and Brad and the other staff were great. Seemed to care and were very professional but, also w... ere very down to earth friendly.
- Oct. 10, 2023
I had my first eye appointment in five years yesterday at Birch Lake Eye Clinic. I was looking for a... n eye clinic near White Bear Lake and picked this one because of the reviews plus I wanted to see a woman doctor. I really liked the clinic! All of the staff were friendly and helpful. Shae was the assistant through the initial tests - I really liked her and appreciated that she walked me through next steps as we went along. Dr. Deanna was really nice to me, talked through all of my symptoms/concerns, and never made me feel like she was rushing along to see the next patient. She was articulate and explained everything along the way. She seemed experienced and well educated. Everything I'm looking for when it comes to something as serious as my eyes! I walked out feeling relieved. Highly recommend.
- Oct. 08, 2023
The staff at BirchLake Eye Clinic are very friendly.
- Sep. 05, 2023
Great care was given to issues with my eyes along with a kind and attentive staff, I would highly re... commend Birch Lake Eye Clinic!
- Aug. 05, 2023
I highly recommend Dr. Lundell & all the staff at Birch Lake Eye Clinic.

View All 398 Reviews



Dry Eyes in White Bear Lake

Our optometry practice in White Bear Lake

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Hours
  • Monday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Spectera
  • Superior Vision
  • Davis Vision
  • EyeMed
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

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Consult Birch Lake Eye Clinic for Digital Eye Strain Relief

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

(651) 426-2747