If you’re like many people, your eyes are on a screen throughout the day: You spend time staring at a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone at work, and on your own time. All that screen time can result in dryness and eye irritation. Eyes need to stay moist to stay healthy. Normally, people blink every 10 seconds or so. When you blink, your eyes release a “tear film” that soothes and coats your eyes. But you don’t blink as often when you’re on a tablet, computer, or watching TV. Less blinking means drier eyes. There’s more to your tears than just water. Oil and mucus are in them, too. You need all three substances to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Working on computers for a long time may even change the balance of your tears.
A 2014 study in Japan found that people who spent hours on their computers had a lower amount of mucus in their tears. Nearly 1 in 10 workers in the study definitely had a dry eye, and more than half had probable cases. While the chances of getting dry eye go up with age, children who spend more time on their smartphones, and less time outside, have more symptoms of dry eye.
What You Can Do:
- Limit your screen time as much as possible.
- Follow the 20/20/20 rule. Take a 20-second break from your digital device every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.
- Use a humidifier.
- Don’t stare, Blink frequently.
- Keep screens at arm’s length.
- Change font- Bigger size, low contrast, low brightness.
- Shed the right light. Put your computer in a place to avoid glare, especially from overhead lights or windows.
- Drink plenty of water. Don’t smoke. Tear Substitute eye drops. (With Doctor's prescription of course)