Q. I get dry eyes and blurry vision in the dark. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Prashant Koranmath
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 16, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am a 44-year-old male of height 5'8 and weight 162 lbs. Hoping for some help with recent vision changes. I went through a highly stressful period for two months, three months ago, that had me working long hours without much break from the computer screen while (not smart) working in a dark room. After this period, my eyes hurt greatly from time to time and even made a crunchy noise one night looking left to right while I was kind of "locked in" on TV. I noticed during this period I was always kind of "locked-in" while on my phone, on the computer, or watching TV and even noticing that I was not blinking from time to time. I had my first aura migraine during that time, and sleep was minimal working at night and up early for homeschool. I also started having a twitch or spasm under my left eye then, and it still occurs today, especially at night or in the morning. Since then, things started to settle down for me, but my vision has not really gotten back to normal. I got an eye exam (no dilating drops but had macular and other extra tests) two months back, and he said my eyes were strong and healthy. I mentioned that my distance prescription had not changed much, but that farsightedness has started, and I was certain that is what is causing my problems. While my spasms have started to decrease slowly, the pain is less. As I have spent less and less time on devices (especially at night), I am still having issues. When I am outside, and the light is bright, I can look down and read my phone with no problems at all. However, when I come inside or am in a dark room, all of a sudden, the phone is blurry. If this was a farsighted problem, would that be like that? Is computer vision syndrome a possibility for me, and is it possible to have it for several months? I work on the computer and have started working during the day to reduce stress on my eyes, but I still like to watch TV and look down at my phone. Now I need my glasses to do this comfortably in any dim or dark light. If not, my vision is kind of blurry or fluctuates (when I blink). Then it seems to improve again in the daylight. It has been kind of back and forth for a few months now. I was wondering if this is something I should have re-examined or if it sounds like something serious? Does eye strain or dry eye cause this difference when looking at a TV or phone in dim or dark lighting? I look at the internet and see like retinopathy and stuff and am not sure if there is something else I should worry about or if I should be doing something else to help my eyes recover from what it feels like was hyperawareness, anxiety, and way too much screen time in the dark? I do not take any drops (not sure what to take or if it will help) and just started taking De-3 fish oil supplements about three weeks ago. Sorry for the length, but I wanted to give the full background. And most of all hoping to know if this blurry (in dim or dark light) vision will improve even though it has been months now. Or is this my new normal?

The current prescription is (I use the distance prescription and did not purchase the bifocals):

OD, SPH .50, CYL -1.75, AX 096, Add +1.50

OS SPH PL, CYL -1.50, AX 084, Add 1.50

I used Retaine eye drops twice a day for few days and then stopped using them. I also have undiagnosed anxiety disorder. Please give your opinion.



Welcome to

Using computers and smartphones causes dry eyes due to decreased blink rate. Take frequent breaks. Look at far objects as eyes are strained looking at the close object for a long time. Keep brightness minimal. Use Refresh Liquigel eye drops (Carboxymethylcellulose) three times a day. Use antiglare glasses. For migraines, I suggest you start Sumatriptan or Propranolol. For this, consult a physician. For overthinking, anxiety, and obsessive thoughts, consult a psychiatrist. I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.

Hi doctor,

Thank you.

I will follow your advice. In your opinion, will the blurriness in dim lighting go away once I resolve dry eyes, or did I permanently damage something? It has been months now, so that is why my concern. Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome back to

It is not advisable to use the screen in low light or darkroom. It strains the eyes may even lead to a headache. So work in a well-lit room. Do not worry much about this issue. There is no damage. It is just due to eye strain. Use lubricant eye drops three or four times a day. Yes, blurriness should go once dry eye is resolved. I hope this was helpful.

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