A new study says that squinting at your computer screens is bad for the eyes since it leads to dryness and loss of lubrication leading to eye strain, irritation and tearing . Researchers at the Ohio State University say that the less people blink the more they put themselves at risk for dry eye.
"People tend to squint when they read a book or a computer display, and that squinting makes the blink rate go way down," said lead researcher James Sheedy, professor of optometry at Ohio State University. "Blinking rewets the eyes. So if your job requires a lot of reading or other visually intense work, you may be blinking far less than normal, which may cause eye strain and dry eye." In the current study, researchers tracked the blinking movements of 10 college students, who were asked to squint at a computer placed 2 feet before their eyes. The students were otherwise healthy. Cameras and electrodes recorded the number of times that they blinked while squinting at the PC. The researchers found that even a slight amount of squinting reduced the blink rates by about 50 percent, from 15 blinks a minute to about 7.5 blinks a minute. The details of the study appear the journal Optometry and Vision Science.
The researchers say that squinting is an involuntary action that results in improved eyesight by focusing sharply on objects as well as reducing the bright glare. But the current study seems to demonstrate that squinting may lead to eye strain and ultimately, a dry eye, which is a pretty painful condition, but can be treated by administering lubricating eye drops.