Why are your eyes tired, dry, or vision blurry after hours on a phone or computer? Understanding the impact of digital screen time on how we blink

Published on
September 27, 2022

Digital devices affect our blinking rate and can lead to digital eye strain. In the United States, nearly 70 percent of adults suffer from digital eye strain due to prolonged use of electronic devices.

The more time we spend on our digital devices, the less frequently and fully we blink. When we don't blink frequently, the front end of our eye becomes improperly lubricated, resulting in dry eyes.

How can you reduce digital eye strain?

You can reduce digital eye strain by being mindful of the following tips: 

  • Artificial tears can be used to lubricate your eyes
  • It is also important to follow the rule of 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. To put it simply, take breaks from your computer
  • You can also reduce the glare on your computer to prevent digital eye strain. A matte anti-glare filter can be added to your computer screen, or if you wear glasses, an anti-glare coating can be applied to your glasses
  • Perform different blinking exercises to ensure that your eyes are getting the proper natural lubrication from your tears

What are the different blinking exercises you can do to reduce digital eye strain and dry eye?

It is highly advisable to work on blinking exercises because patients who look at computer screens or any sort of digital device tend to blink 75% less. And the blinks are more incomplete compared to if you were just reading off of a printed document.

Now let's discuss some different blinking exercises.

Blinking exercises

One exercise that you can do is to look in five different directions. You will look up, down, right, left, and straight ahead. When you're looking at those positions, you just need to blink 10 times. To make sure that you are blinking fully, place your finger horizontally sideways, right on the bottom of your lash margin, so that every time you blink your upper eyelashes brush against your finger, and that's when you will know that you are blinking fully. By blinking, you force the oil glands to release lubricating oil so that your eyes are properly lubricated.

Another blinking exercise includes exercising the eyelid muscle to ensure that it is properly activated and working. The best way to do this is to close your eyes, pause, open your eyes, close your eyes again, pause, and forcefully close them. This will make that muscle work constantly so that you can blink more normally. Just doing this for one minute a day can for sure help you to prevent or improve digital eye strain.

Schedule an eye exam at Amplify EyeCare Manhattan

Particularly since the pandemic, when a lot more things have become virtual, many people have been suffering from digital eye strain and dry eye. Visit our eye doctor today so we can determine the best course of treatment and how we can prevent you from experiencing any symptoms. Please call (212) 752-6930 if you would like to schedule an eye exam or dry eye consultation.

Testimonials


At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


Steve Fay

Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


Mary K.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.


Allen B.
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