Digital Eye Strain is an Increasingly Common Eye Condition
What is Digital Eye Strain?
It is no surprise that in the modern world, technology has become intertwined with everyday life. We sit at computers for many of our jobs, which requires us to focus at different ranges and levels than that of what our eyes naturally want to focus at, which can cause eye strain and fatigue.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
Common symptoms include headaches, decreased blink rate (which can lead to blurry vision and dry eyes), itchiness of the surface of the eye, and pain that seems to originate from within or just behind your eyes, and loss of focus.
What To Do About Digital Eye Strain?
The most immediate resolution to Digital Eye Strain is to modify your environment, especially if you are working on a computer.
Move the screen back if possible to where it is about one meter from your eyes when seated comfortably.
Take a quick break every twenty minutes to rest your eyes by focusing on something other than your screen (~20ft away) for at least 20 seconds, our 20/20 rule!
Be aware of your blink rate. If you blink and your eyes hurt, take a moment to blink normally to moisturize your eyes.
Ensure your workstation is well lit, and that the light does not directly hit your screen, causing glare.
Why do digital screens cause Digital Eye Strain?
Computer monitors and tablet screens are comprised of millions of small dots called pixels. Reading words on your computer screen is much different than reading words on paper, as pixels are of finite dimensions and even with the best screens available, cannot reproduce the sharpness and definition of printed material. As well, computer screens are backlit, meaning you are technically looking directly into a light, and the words and images viewed on your screen cause lingering afterimages in your vision.
My eyes are still sore – I have tried everything suggested
In some cases, specialized glasses may be needed to relieve eye strain, which includes features such as tinted or coated lenses that reduce the impact of digital screens on your vision. As well, Neuro Visual Training may be needed to train your eyes and brain to work together more efficiently. Speak to your Eyes On Georgina optometrist should you have any concerns or questions