Mar 14, 2023 | Eye Health Info

Understanding Digital Eye Strain & How to Prevent It

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and we’re taking the time to discuss digital eye strain. Whether you’re working from home or in an office, digital eye strain is a common issue resulting from the extended use of screens, such as computers, tablets, and phones. Let’s look at what digital eye strain is, its causes, and how to prevent it.  

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), is a condition caused by the prolonged use of screens or digital devices. Symptoms include sore or tired eyes, headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, neck pain, and shoulder aches.

Causes of digital eye strain

Digital eye strain is typically caused by prolonged exposure to blue light emitted by digital devices like computers or tablets. Other causes are poor posture while using a computer, holding the screen too close, inadequate or harsh light, glare from an LED monitor or screen, or not blinking enough. Uncorrected vision problems such as astigmatism or farsightedness can also lead to digital eye strain because they make it difficult to focus when looking at screens for an extended period.

Preventing digital eye strain

There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing digital eye strain or prevent it from occurring in the first place:

Adjust lighting

A simple way to prevent digital eye strain is to consider the lighting in your workplace or home office. Avoid placing bright lights directly behind your monitor and reduce the amount of light coming in from windows during daylight hours if possible. It’s also important to adjust the brightness on your computer screen to relieve eye strain.

Take breaks

Frequent breaks help reduce fatigue and discomfort caused by long hours of staring at a screen. Using the 20-20-20 rule can help prevent digital eye strain. Every 20 minutes, give your eyes a break by focusing on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  

Follow correct posture

Make sure that your chair height allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor while sitting upright with your elbows close to your body. This will ensure that you don’t hunch over while working on a computer or tablet which can lead to neck pain or tension headaches. 

Get regular eye exams

Regular comprehensive eye exams are essential for detecting any underlying issues that may be contributing to digital eye strain symptoms. Tests will include checking for refractive errors like astigmatism which can cause blurred vision when looking at screens for extended periods. Your eye doctor may suggest lifestyle changes or wearing computer glasses that filter out blue light coming from device screens.

Digital eye strain can be detrimental if left untreated. However, with proper care and precautions, you can prevent it from affecting your daily activities. If you’re suffering from digital eye strain, schedule an eye exam at Hayden Optometric in Mansfield, MA. Our eye doctors can thoroughly examine your eyes and treat any issues that could be causing digital eye strain.