Whether you're an office worker or a college student, you're probably no stranger to spending long hours in front of your computer desperately trying to meet your deadlines. In this digital era, we often wander around with red, dry, and itchy eyes due to all this excessive screen time.
In this article, we're going to look at the consequences of having dry eye disease and how you can use screens without experiencing the symptoms of this condition.
How computers cause dry eye disease
Dry eye is a disease that occurs when your tear ducts fail to produce the sufficient amount of tears required to keep your eyes lubricated. While this disease has many causes, such as aging, autoimmune disorders, and eye surgeries, prolonged exposure to computer screens is one of the most common. When you're focusing on a computer screen, you often tend to blink less, resulting in increased tear evaporation. This, in addition to the harmful blue light emitted by these screens, can cause your eyes to dry up and become red and itchy.
Consequences of having dry eyes
Having dry and itchy eyes not only causes general discomfort but also plays host to a variety of eye-related problems. For example, if you have dry eyes, you might be at the risk of getting an eye infection since the inflammation in your eyes caused by the dryness can severely damage your corneal surface and ulcers if left untreated for too long. This can lead to eventual loss of vision and even blindness in the long run. Ultimately, dry eyes might reduce the quality of your life since you'll experience difficulties in performing your routine tasks.
How to prevent dry eyes
If you're worried about having dry eyes because of excessive screen time, here are some tips that you can start implementing to overcome these problems.
- Ensure that there is proper lighting. When using your computer, position your screen so that the light from your windows is to your side. You can also try to use floor lamps instead of overhead fluorescent lights since the latter often cause eye strain and blurred vision.
- Use blue light filters. Whether it's the "night shield" option on your digital devices or a pair of computer glasses that you're going to buy, these filters can help reduce the amount of blue light transmitted from the screens to your eyes.
- Take regular screen breaks. You can start by following the 20-20-20 rule: look away from your screen every twenty minutes and stare at an object at least twenty feet away for twenty seconds. This helps your eye muscles relax and combats eye fatigue.
When to visit a doctor
While the above tips can significantly impact your eye health, if you still experience red, dry, or itchy eyes because of heavy computer usage, we recommend that you visit us at Superior Eye Care. You can drop by our clinics in Houston, The Woodlands, and Spring in Texas. With our highly skilled and experienced staff, we are ready to provide immediate and effective solutions to all your eye-related problems!