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Can excessive computer exposure cause dry eyes?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 5, 2016
Reviewed AtJune 16, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am using artificial tear drops during the day and an artificial tear gel in the night before going to bed for dry eyes. In most of the days, I feel a lot better, however, one day or another I have the same symptoms or watery eyes and redness and minor blurred vision. This happens with the left eye. However, I also have redness on the other one. These symptoms started very mildly and then started to get worse. Currently I am using Risperidone. Some things I would like you to know are I have been spending eight to nine hours in front of my computer in the last three to three to four years years. I also use my smartphone to play games and read emails. I feel a lot better when I spend only two-three hours on the computer on the previous day. I also have mild redness during the day, if I am at a computer screen for one to two hours without interruption. I have been diagnosed with rhinitis too. My questions are can my problem be caused by a cumulative and excessive computer exposure without often breaks and for the last three to four years years? If yes, what is your recommendation for improving? I am finishing my PhD in thesis, and I would like to use the computer. If not, what else could be the cause of my dry eyes? Also, the last time when I had conjunctivitis, an optometrist detected a spot in my cornea on a slit lamp examination and 10 hours later, I was diagnosed with a corneal infiltrate due to an eye infection by a general doctor. Can corneal infiltrates show as spots on a slit lamp examination? Is it possible that I have these symptoms much more intense on the left eye? I have a higher uncorrected eye myopia and astigmatism in the same.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

It is very good to know that you have improved drastically. Yes, continuous computer use can cause dry eyes, redness and irritation. Yes, higher power on left eye can add to your problems. It can be due to eye fatigue and tiredness due to continuous reading. Just use correctly prescribed glasses. Do eye exercises like rotation and focusing on the tip of the thumb and moving it near and close for 5 minutes twice a day. Also if you are using computer, keep minimum brightness and maintain 40 cm distance. Blink the eyes as frequently as possible. Close eyes for 10 to 15 seconds every 5 minutes. This will relax your eyes and decrease the dry eye syndrome. You can also use anti-reflective coating glasses. Also important point in your case is history of infection or conjunctivitis. Infiltration cause spots or opacities on cornea and decrease its transparency. This old viral conjunctivitis could add to your eye irritation and dryness. You can continue the same treatment and precautions as mentioned above.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Anand Yattinamani
Dr. Anand Yattinamani

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

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