Squinting At Your Computer May Increase Risk Of Dry Eye
A squint may seem benign. You look at your screen, realize you can't see then scrunch up your eyes and nose to get a better "picture." Unfortunately squinting may be more harmful than you think according to a new study. At the very least, it may dry out your eyes. (Dry Eyes Treatment)
Researchers recently reported that people who squint at their computer screen typically blink half as much as their non-squinting counterparts. People who blink less are more likely to suffer from irritating conditions including dry eyes. Dry eye in turn may lead to more serious problems including headaches or eye strain. Blurry vision may also result with extended periods of dry eye.
Blinking is important for keeping the eyes moist and lubricated. When we squint, we don't feel the need to blink as much as our eyes are partially closed. This doesn't however serve to protect the eyes from the harsh environment they are subject to.
Dry eyes associated with squinting can lead to a host of problems including aching or burning in the eyes, irritation, and tearing and even dry eye.
And the worst part? It doesn't take a lot of squinting to catch dry eye. Just squinting a tiny bit can reduce the amount you blink by half. Study participants that did not squint blinked on average 15 times. Those that did squint blinked roughly 7 times.
Squinting And Eye Health
What does this mean for you? Make sure you are not squinting. While it is alright to squint on occasion, it is not a habit you should enjoy with liberty.
People squint for various reasons. Some squint to improve their eyesight to help define objects they want to see that are not in focus. Sometimes people squint involuntarily because of glare. You may not realize you squint at your computer unless someone were to observe you.
Squinting may be a sign you need corrective lenses, so by sure to visit your eye doctor regularly to determine whether you need corrective lenses to resolve squinting.
In this particular study, participants were asked to squint for the study. All study participants had 20/20 vision. The researchers used electrodes to records action within the eye, including the amount a person blinked and squinted.
Study participants all viewed a computer screen while squinting at various levels. The researchers engaged in five separate trials before providing results of the studies. During each trial, study participants were taped, and researchers reviewed the tapes after the study to determine the number of times participants blinked and squinted.
Typically blinking decreased on average 15 times each minute when eyes were relaxed. Under pressure however, blinking slowed and squinting increased. The good news is dry eyes associated with little blinking or squinting is easily resolved. You can resolve such issues by using artificial tears, sold over the counter, to help reduce dry eye and eliminate eye strain.
Remember however, if you find you frequently suffer from squinting or dry eyes, it may be time to see your eye doctor.
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