closeup of an eye experiencing excessive tearing from dry eye syndrome Dry eye syndrome is a common issue impacting over 30 million individuals across the country. The condition develops when your tear glands fail to produce an adequate quality or quantity of tear film. This results in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, our current health crisis may be making your dry eye syndrome symptoms worse.

We’ve all been forced to make adjustments to our daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The stay-at-home order in Colorado has caused many people to significantly increase their daily screen time. Streaming shows and movies on Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services is at an all-time high, and many individuals consume this content on their computer, tablet or phone.

According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, there are several reasons why you experience increased eye strain and dry eyes when viewing computer, tablet or phone screens:

  • Reduced blinking – You typically blink 66% less often while viewing a computer screen.
  • Glare and reflection from monitors – The glare and reflections off your monitor can result in eye fatigue and often causes you to squint in order to compensate.
  • Monitor refresh rate – Monitors refresh at a rate of 60 Hz, and this speed can create a flickering that makes the screen appear to roll. This phenomenon forces your eyes to constantly refocus, causing fatigue.

The following solutions can help you combat these issues while your screen time is increased during the shutdown:

  • Make a conscious effort to blink regularly while viewing computer screens
  • Take a screen break every 15 minutes to refresh your eyes
  • Use lubricating eye drops when you feel your eyes begin to dry out
  • Reposition your monitor to reduce glare
  • Use full spectrum or lower wattage light bulbs to reduce glare
  • Change the refresh rate of your monitor to 70-85 Hz

Contact our Loveland Ophthalmologists

If you think you may suffer from dry eye syndrome, Kirk Eye Center can help. We offer a wide range of treatment options to alleviate this painful condition. Our ophthalmologists will perform a thorough eye exam in order to identify the right solution to address your specific dry eye issues.

Please contact Kirk Eye Center using the form on this page or call 970-669-1107 to schedule an eye exam. We serve patients in Loveland, Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado.

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