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Those spending extended periods of time squinting at their computer screens run a greater risk of developing “dry eye.” Research shows that even just a slight amount of squinting reduces blinking rates by half (from fifteen blinks per minute to seven and a half). More squinting while looking at the computer screen results in even less blinking, which leads to more pronounced sensations of burning eyes, dryness, and irritation. These symptoms are the result of less lubrication being spread over the surface of the eye. Normally, blinking eyelids spread tears that remove irritants from the cornea’s surface. Computer-specific eyeglasses with prescriptions calculated for computer use can reduce computer-screen squinting and related discomfort. Tinted lenses may also prove to be helpful. Dry eye is common, especially in women over the age of 40. Though there is no cure for dry eyes, there are a number of steps that can be taken to treat them. You should discuss treatment options with an eye care specialist. Because the distance at which you look at a computer screen is not the same at which you read a book or magazine, reading glasses may not provide adequate vision correction for computer work.


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