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How Does Screen Time Affect Your Eyes?

Eye sight is an incredible gift.  It allows you to see your surroundings, watch your footing, and see people approaching.  Eye sight also allows you to enjoy life by watching TV or playing on your phone.  But sometimes we overdo the amount of time we should spend on the screen.  Quickly, your eye sight can become damaged, and you may experience an uncomfortable feeling in your eyes.  Today I’ll be going over how screen time affects your eyes, how to prevent the screen from hurting your eyes, and signs your body may be trying to tell you that you are spending too much time at the screen.  I hope this article helps you understand when to stop looking at a screen in order to keep your precious gift of eye sight.

Dry Eyes

Studies have shown that people tend to not blink as much when looking at a screen.  As a result, your eyes will become dry.  Dry eyes can not only be uncomfortable feeling, but it can also lead to several problems.  For example, dry eyes (also known as dry eye syndrome) can make your eyes red, make nighttime driving difficult, and make your eyes sting.  It can also make it difficult to wear contact lenses, make you feel as though something were in your eyes, cause blurred vision or eye fatigue, make you sensitive to light, and make your eyes watery.  Also, if dry eye syndrome is left untreated, it can damage the surface of your eyes, and therefore cause more severe vision problems.

How To Prevent Dry Eyes

While dry eye syndrome can be caused due to lots of things, including old age, a lot of the time people get dry eyes because they read or use their computer, phone, or iPad too much.  Thankfully, there are some ways to prevent dry eyes.  The first recommendation is to not spend as much time in front of the screen.  This may sound rather simple, but you may be surprised at how many times you look at the screen when it isn’t necessary.  For example, perhaps you could skip looking at your phone every couple of minutes when you want to see if somebody texted you.  If you do need to continue looking at your computer, iPad, or phone, try taking breaks in between each time you use it.  Use the break to close your eyes, or maybe blink a little more so that you moisturize your eyes.  Another helpful tip is to position your computer below eye level.  That way, your eyes won’t have to be open as wide, which means each time you blink, your eyes will become moisturized.


More and more people are becoming nearsighted due to spending too much time at the screen.  This means that objects that are far away appear blurry, and you can only see objects right in front of you.  It is common for children to get nearsightedness, since a lot of children spend most of their day on their phone, iPad or watching TV.  However, adults can get it too, depending on how much time they spend looking at the screen.

How To Prevent Nearsightedness

Once again, the first recommendation is to not spend as much time at the screen.  Also, try not to read books (or a screen) too close.  Instead, hold it out in front of you.  Make sure the book is not held too far out that your eyes begin to strain.  Another recommendation is to get outside more often.  Studies have shown that people who don’t go outside too much have a better risk of becoming nearsighted.  If you have a desk job, try to use your breaks to walk outside.  On your day off, go for a hike at a nearby park or spend some time doing backyard maintenance.  Not only will this keep your eyes healthy, but it will also encourage you to become more active.

Red Eyes

Red eyes is often associated with dry eyes, which is when the production of tears is decreased.  It is caused by an irritation in the eyes, which can be caused by too much screen time.  While red eye may not seem to be too dangerous, it is definitely not healthy.  Over time it can damage your eyes.  It is recommended to call 911 if you have any of these symptoms:

  • If your vision suddenly changes
  • It is accompanied by a severe headache, eye pain, fever or unusual sensitivity to light
  • If you feel like something is in your eye
  • Your eyes begin to swell
  • You suddenly begin to see halos around lights
  • You’re unable to open your eye or keep it open
  • If you also experience nausea or vomiting

How To Prevent Red Eye

There is not much you can do to prevent red eye except to not spend as much time on the screen, and follow some of the instructions I gave to help prevent dry eyes.  That could mean to blink more often, position your computer below eye level, and take breaks in between looking at the screen.  Remember, if you experience any of the symptoms I mentioned above, call your doctor or 911 right away.

Signs That Mean You Are Spending Too Much Time On the Screen

Your body is constantly trying to tell you the things that are wrong with your health.  That means your body will give you signs when the screen begins to hurt your eyes.  Whether you listen to your body or not is up to you.  But if you don’t, you may end up with serious eye problems.  Here are some signs that your body may be trying to tell you that you’re spending too much time at the screen.


It is normal for people to get a headache when they spend too much time looking at a screen.  While headaches can mean many things, such as you need to drink water, if you spend a lot of time looking at a screen, that may be why you are suffering from headaches.  But just because it is common doesn’t mean it is healthy.  The best way to get rid of those terrible feeling headaches is to not spend as much time at the screen.  Another helpful tip is to get more sleep.  That leads us to the next sign that your body may be trying to show you.

Sleepy Feeling

Do you often feel sleepy after spending a lot of time on your screen?  Rather than resisting the urge to take a nap, you should go ahead and get some sleep.  Often times your body needs a break from the screen, and closing your eyes is the perfect option.  This is especially important if you have not been getting enough sleep.  Studies have shown that most of the population these days spend more time on their phone, TV, computer, or iPad than they do sleeping.  If you find yourself spending more time on the screen than you do sleeping, make sure you get caught up on sleep.  Your eyes will thank you.

Blurry Vision

Of course, blurry vision definitely seems like an obvious sign that your body is trying to tell you something.  You may think that your blurry vision is due to needing glasses or contact lenses, something being in your eyes, or because you are aging.  And although you may experience blurry vision as you age (working at a screen will become more difficult as you age too), a lot of times blurry vision means you are spending too much time staring at your screen.  Try spending less time at the screen, take more breaks, and adjust your computer to the right position.  Also, you may want to talk with your eye doctor to find out if you need glasses or contact lenses.  If you are starting to constantly deal with blurry vision, the screen may have already damaged your eyes.  Glasses or contact lenses will prevent your eyes from becoming any worse.  It will also make it much easier for you to see.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this article has helped you understand more about how screen time affects your eyes.  There are many symptoms that you may get after spending too much time at the screen, including dry eyes, red eye, and nearsightedness.  Fortunately, there are ways to prevent you from getting these symptoms.  The best way to prevent eye problems is to not spend as much time looking at the screen.  I also went over other helpful tips that you could try.  Lastly, I went over different signs that your body may be trying to tell you that you are spending too much time at the screen.  Such signs include headaches, sleepiness, and blurry vision.  If you are experiencing eye problems due to too much screen time, you may want to try to adjust the position of your computer.  It is recommended to have it below eye level, so that your eyes don’t have to be so wide open when looking at the screen.  You may also want to try adjusting the lighting of the screen.  Most importantly, try to look at the screen as little as possible.

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