Digital Eye Strain
Digital Eye Strain
The average adult spends at least seven hours in front of a screen every single day. If this applies to you, it's possible that you're experiencing vision problems and eye discomfort known as digital eye strain. Read on to learn more about what digital eye strain is and what you can do to lessen the symptoms.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
The most common symptoms associated with digital eye strain include headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision, neck and shoulder pain, and of course - eye strain. If your eyes "hurt" or feel watery and tired after looking at a screen, it's highly likely that you are experiencing digital eye strain. If you have a vision-related condition such as astigmatism or presbyopia, this can make your digital eye strain worse and could add to the deterioration of your eyesight over time.
Causes of Digital Eye Strain
So, what causes digital eye strain? Aside from staring at a screen for hours at a time, it can also be made worse due to poor lighting, glare on the screen, or simply by sitting at an improper viewing distance. If you have poor seating posture or an uncorrected vision problem, these factors can also make the issue worse. In some cases, your digital eye strain will go away whenever you stop looking at a screen. However, some people experience continued problems like blurred vision, even after they're no longer sitting in front of their smartphone, computer, tablet, or TV screen.
Computer Vision Syndrome
When you are looking at a digital screen, it causes your eyes to work harder. Reading on a screen is much different than reading words on a printed page, such as a book or newspaper. The letters on computers and other devices aren't usually as sharp, the contract of the letters on the background is often reduced, and the presence of glare is much stronger. All of these factors contribute to digital eye strain. When your eyes are constantly needing to refocus and move, eventually, they can become strained and tired. If you have a vision problem, it can make looking at a screen even more difficult. And, if those problems are untreated, your digital eye strain is likely more pronounced than those who wear glasses or contact lenses.
How to Reduce Eye Strain from Computers
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to reduce the effects of digital eye strain. Here are some tips to help you get relief:
- Make sure you get your eyes examined regularly to ensure that you're wearing the right prescription for your vision needs.
- Add special coatings to your glasses or contacts that can help prevent glare and reduce the blue light that can contribute to digital eye strain.
- Make sure your computer screen is about four to five inches below eye level and about 20 to 28 inches away from your eyes. The same applies to tablets, smartphones, and televisions.
- Check the lighting in your home or office, and make sure that it's not creating a glare on your screen. Too much glare can cause you to strain, resulting in dry eyes, headaches, and other symptoms. You can also look into getting a screen glare filter which will reduce the amount of light reflected onto the screen.
- Consider visual therapy or vision training to help improve your visual abilities. This training helps your eyes and brain work together in a better way, reducing strain.