You’re not alone if you’ve ever experienced eye fatigue or discomfort after looking at a computer screen or other digital device. Digital-related eye strain affects people of all ages. So what is digital eye strain? And how can you minimize its effects? Keep reading to find out.
What is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain is a condition that occurs when your eyes become tired from extended exposure to digital screens. Symptoms include dry or irritated eyes, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and redness in the eyes. If you spend hours every day looking at a computer screen, you may be at risk for digital eye strain.
How Does Digital Eye Strain Occur?
Several factors can contribute to digital eye strain. For example, if you spend hours a day using digital devices, you might notice your vision blurs and your eyes feel achy and tired. You may also find your eyes become dry and will tear or sting. This eye strain is no different from the symptoms you may have when reading, writing, or doing “close work” like sewing for long periods. Another factor is how we tend to blink less when looking at screens, which can lead to dryness and irritation. Additionally, staring at a screen for long periods can cause our muscles to tense up, leading to headaches and neck pain.
How Can I Prevent Digital Eye Strain?
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent or reduce digital eye strain:
- Take regular breaks throughout the day to give your eyes a rest. Every 20 minutes or so, look away from your screen and focus on something else for at least 20 seconds.
- Ensure that your workstation is set up correctly; your computer screen should be at eye level, and you should use proper lighting to avoid glare.
- Using computer eyeglasses reduces eye strain if you work on a computer for many hours. These prescription glasses allow you to focus your eyes at a computer screen distance (intermediate distance, about 20-26 inches away from your face). Some of these glasses have multifocal lenses to help you quickly shift your focus between close, intermediate, and far distances. Be aware that computer glasses for reducing eye strain are not the same as “blue light blocking” glasses.
If you’re experiencing digital eye strain, there are steps you can take to minimize its effects. For example, take regular breaks throughout the day, ensure your workstation is set up correctly, and invest in computer eyeglasses. These simple precautions can help reduce digital eye strain symptoms and keep your vision healthy.
Call New Vision Eye Center and schedule an eye exam with one of our World-Class Eye Care team members. 772.257.8700