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Does Screen Time Make Dry Eye Disease A Problem for Younger Americans?

Dry Eyes – Now Happening at Any Age

In a digital first-era, the average American spends 7 hours and 4 minutes looking at a screen every day. While the majority of work, play, and daily life at any age involves a screen, adults 18-39 are spending much more time with digital devices than those over 40. Because of the technological advances that put information at the fingertips of all ages, the impact that this screen time has on the eyes is also on the rise across generations and is best addressed early on.  

Screens and Dry Eye Syndrome

While technology often serves us well, the digital machines and devices we use can wear on the eyes. With increased technology and content options also comes longer times in front of stationary screens, with little to no rest for the eyes. As many as 90 percent of digital device users experience symptoms of digital eye strain and other eye health issues. This strain, caused by a reduction in blinking, decreases the delivery of meibum onto our eyes. Meibum is an oil created in the Meibomian glands in our eyelids that protects tear fluid from evaporating too quickly. When we blink, the eyelids secrete meibum to coat our tear film and protect our eyes. A decrease in meibum secretion means that the tear fluid has more exposure to evaporating. The longer you’re in front of a screen, the harder your eyes have to work to process what’s in front of them due to the decreased blink frequency. 

Dry Eyes Across Generations

Historically problems with Dry Eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome were commonly viewed as an “old person’s problem”. However, as technology advanced, the rapid increase in digital device use has dramatically affected the blinking rates of younger generations. Access to electronics and periods of decreased blinking now begins at younger ages. This includes children on tablets, teens at school, and young adults at work. We are seeing a significant impact of screen use across all Americans, but especially among younger adults and children As all generations rotate from mobile phones, computers, or television and back again, blurred vision and scratchiness in the eyes can occur, as well as increased sensitivity to those same screens. 

This prevalence is why dry eye treatments at home are so relevant to relieving dry eye symptoms. 

Dry Eye Treatments at Home for All Generations

While dry eye syndrome (also called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD) is a chronic condition, caring for dry eyes and returning them to their natural hydrated state doesn’t have to be a huge barrier. A break from screens can be helpful, but ultimately, restoring meibum flow is the best bet for clear, pain-free vision at any age. If you’re noticing increasingly dry eyes amid your screen usage, your eye care regimen needs EverTears®. EverTears® is the only product on the market that can soothe irritated eyes with a pre-moistened pad as well as heat the meibum so it flows to the eyes. In only five minutes, strained eyes can feel a difference. This remedy combats the ever-present screen eye strain to let anyone, of any age, safely act against dry eye symptoms. The best part? EverTears® works with minimal or no interruption to everyday activities. Including EverTears® as an essential step to a simple and straightforward eye-cleaning routine solidifies an evolved compress as an essential chronic dry eye treatment.

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