Is Your Smartphone Causing Your Dry Eyes?

Woman looking at her cell phone with dry eyes

When you use your smartphone a lot, do your eyes feel fatigued? Do your eyes feel tired after you watch videos on your smartphone?

These are signs that you could be developing dry eye syndrome. Dry eye is a very common eye condition but it’s also quite easy to treat.

Keep reading to learn more about if your smartphone could be making your eyes dry!

What are dry eyes?

When your eyes are uncomfortable, they may sting or feel like they are burning. These are some of the common symptoms that accompany dry eyes.

Dry eyes usually occur because you aren’t producing enough tears or the tears produced are low-quality. There are many ways you can develop dry eye.

One common reason it can occur is due to your environment. You can also develop dry eye from your lifestyle or a health condition.

An example of an environmental condition is if your desk is near an air conditioner that blows right in your face. The dry air from the air conditioner will dry out your eyes.

Looking at screens too long can also cause dry eyes. It is important to understand how dry eye develops to prevent it from occurring.

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

There are many symptoms associated with dry eyes. Symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • Experiencing a burning sensation in your eye
  • Feeling like there is grit or something in your eye
  • Producing more or fewer tears
  • Corneal and conjunctival staining
  • Keratitis
  • Eye fatigue
  • Some patients may develop photophobia

Other symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome are light sensitivity, red eyes, trouble driving at night, discomfort wearing contacts, stringy discharge, pain, and foggy vision.

Will too much screen time make my eyes dry?

When you look at something like a screen for too long, you do not blink enough. Blinking is important because it’s how your eyes stay moist and lubricated.

If you focus too much on your smartphone screen and do not blink, it could lead to symptoms of dry eyes.

You can look at screens and not know that you have dry eyes. Sometimes people do not even know they have dry eyes until they decide to get LASIK.

They are evaluated for the procedure and then are diagnosed with dry eye. You need to treat your dry eye and have it under control to get LASIK.

What can I do if I need to look at screens?

The best thing you can do if you need to look at a screen for a long time is to take frequent breaks. If you know you’ll be using a computer or smartphone for an extended period of time, use the 20-20-20 rule.

To practice this rule, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Taking breaks allows your eyes to refocus, blink, and keep your eyes moist. It also allows muscles in your eyes to move around and relax when you blink your eyes.

Do you need help treating your dry eye symptoms? Schedule an appointment at Ginsberg Eye in Naples, FL to discuss your treatment options with one of our ophthalmologists!