The Link Between Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome/Digital Eye Strain


As technology continues to advance, the use of electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets has become an integral part of our daily lives.

However, this increased screen time has also brought about a myriad of eye-related issues, two of which are Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain.

Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome, or DES, is a condition characterized by a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the eye’s surface. If left untreated, this condition can lead to consequences like discomfort, visual disturbances and potential damage to the eye’s surface by an increased corneal inflammation and risk of eye infections.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

It’s important to be aware of the different symptoms that are associated with dry eye syndrome. Just a few examples include:

  • Itching, gritty or burning sensations
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • A sensation of a foreign in the eye
  • Excessive tearing

Computer Vision Syndrome: A Modern-Day Eye Health Concern

Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, refers to a range of eye and vision problems resulting from prolonged use of computers, smartphones, and other digital devices. CVS or digital eye strain is becoming increasingly common in today’s digital age. Examples of symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes

The Connection Between Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome

The link between DES and CVS lies in the fact that prolonged screen time can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

When we stare at screens for extended periods, we tend to blink less frequently, reducing the eyes ability to prevent the evaporation of tears. As a result, DES can worsen, leading to increased discomfort and vision problems.


Risk Factors for Developing Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome

Various factors can increase the likelihood of developing DES and CVS, such as:

  • Age: Older individuals are more prone to DES due to reduced tear production.
  • Gender: Women are more susceptible to DES due to hormonal fluctuations.
  • Occupation: Those who work long hours on digital devices are at a higher risk of developing CVS.
  • Environmental factors: Dry or polluted environments can contribute to DES.
  • Contact lens wearers: Prolonged contact lens use can increase the risk of DES and CVS.


Tips for Preventing Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome

To reduce the risk of developing DES and CVS, consider implementing the following strategies:

The 20-20-20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away. This will help reduce eye strain and prevent dry eyes.

Adjust Your Workspace

Ensure your computer screen is at a comfortable distance and angle, and use proper lighting to minimize glare. Keep a safe distance from your digital devices, typically at least an arm’s length away.

An ergonomically designed workspace can significantly reduce the risk of developing CVS and its associated symptoms:

  • Adjust your chair and desk height for proper posture
  • Position your computer monitor at eye level and an arm’s length away
  • Use an adjustable keyboard tray to maintain a neutral wrist position
  • Consider using a document holder to reduce neck strain


Medical Interventions for Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome

In some cases, medical intervention may be necessary to address DES and CVS. Our eye doctors are well trained in a range of in office dry eye treatments which will help you to get the relief that you need when it comes to this condition. Examples of treatments that we offer include:

  • TearCare
  • Lipiflow
  • Advanced Zocushield Cleanse

In some cases, scleral lenses may be the best option to combat these conditions. Scleral lenses are custom-made contact lenses which vault over the cornea of your eye and provide a layer of fluid to the surface of your eye at all times. In turn, your eye is able to maintain a consistent level of hydration which helps to eliminate the feeling of itchiness or overall dryness.

Scheduling regular eye exams is crucial for maintaining good eye health and promptly addressing any issues that may arise, including Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome.

The Impact of Lifestyle Choices on Eye Health

In addition to different dry eye treatments, adopting certain lifestyle habits can have a positive impact on your eye health and help prevent DES and CVS:

  • Regular exercise
  • A balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Getting adequate sleep


The link between Dry Eye Syndrome and Computer Vision Syndrome demonstrates the impact of our digital lifestyles on eye health. By understanding the connection between these two conditions and implementing prevention strategies such as the 20-20-20 rule, proper workspace ergonomics, and regular eye exams, you can maintain good eye health and reduce the risk of developing DES and CVS. Prioritize your eye health today to help ensure clear, comfortable vision for years to come by scheduling an appointment at our office.




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