Unfortunately, YES. Spending long hours in front of a screen is one of the causes of dry eyes. Computer screens, smartphones, and TVs can worsen the symptoms or even cause the occurrence of the condition.
The explanation is that screens influence blinking and blinking has a crucial part in dry eye syndrome.
Blinking keeps the eye hydrated. Each time we blink, a film of tears is applied to the eye. When we watch a screen, we don’t blink as we should.
The computer screen affects blinking in two ways. It affects blinking frequency and how much the eyelids close during a blink.
A study to determine the relation between CVS (computer vision syndrome) and dry eyes was conducted on 21 participants. The result showed that reduced blinking rate and completeness are CVS symptoms that occur when we watch a screen. Because we blink less, the eye doesn’t get enough hydration. The screen also affects blinking. This means that the eyelids are not completely shut when we blink. Reduced frequency and completeness may cause dry eyes or intensify the symptoms.The normal blinking frequency is once every five seconds or so. The study found out that when we sit in front of a screen the frequency decreases to 10 seconds. Incomplete blinks prevent the layer of tears from being applied to the entire cornea. This is why dry eye symptoms occur when we sit in front of a screen for too long.
Changing the way we blink is practically impossible. Reduced computer screen time may also not be an option for people who use a computer for work. It’s advised to take a five minute break once every half an hour. Look as far away as possible, preferably through a window, and have a few mindful blinks during the break. Concentrate on closing the eyes completely. Although it may not seem like a proper treatment, these breaks can help with the dry eyes symptoms.