• Can I wash my tired eyes after long days of screen learning?


    Question:

    Since the pandemic, we have switched to online learning and I am using my devices for at least 8 hours a day. Is it safe to wash my eyes when they are tired after being online so long or would it damage my vision and overall eye health?


    Answer:

    With the increased screen time during the pandemic, many patients have noted increased symptoms of dry eyes and eyestrain. When we concentrate on a screen (whether it is a phone, computer, or TV), we blink less. This dries our eyes out and can cause tearing, burning, and make the eyes feel sandy, gritty (as if something is inside your eye), and irritated.

    There are a number of ways to relieve these symptoms. Washing out the eyes with tap water is not recommended because of the risk of introducing bacteria to the surface of the eye. Exceptions are made for emergency situations if you get splashed with a hazardous chemical. The best solution is to use artificial tears and take periodic breaks from the screen. Sterile saline may wash out the eyes, but it does not provide long-term lubrication.


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