Our society is always moving forward. Every day, new technology is developed to make our lives simpler and more efficient. For the most part, technological advancement is a great thing; but sometimes our bodies can’t keep up with the changes and we start experiencing health problems.
More Information About Digital Eye Strain
What is Digital Eye Strain?
We all know what it’s like to have “tired eyes”. That’s what we’re talking about when we refer to eye strain. Digital eye strain (sometimes called computer vision syndrome) is the problem that comes specifically from too much screen time.
Research suggests that spending more than 2 hours a day looking at a screen (computer, tablet, mobile phone, ereader, etc) can be damaging to your eyes. Unfortunately, screens are an immovable object for most of us, as we use them for work and to organize our lives. So how do we minimize the impact of extended screen time?
Even those with 20/20 vision can experience the effects of digital eye strain if they don’t take the necessary precautions.
Sufferers of digital eye strain will commonly experience dry, itchy, sore, or otherwise irritated eyes. They may develop headaches and neck pain, and often find themselves having difficulty focusing after an extended period of time.
Sometimes, digital eye strain manifests as heavy eyelids, making the sufferer feel as though they’re struggling to stay awake in front of their screen.
Digital Eye Strain Can Cause Long Term Damage
Research suggests that digital eye strain can be a contributing factor to a number of vision problems. The risk of cataracts and macular degeneration increases with instances of digital eye strain.
Minimizing Digital Eye Strain
Optimize Your Workspace
If you know you’ll be spending a number of hours in front of a screen, you can reduce the impact of screen time by setting up your work space properly. Your screen should be roughly an arm’s length away and roughly 20 degrees below your eyes. If you can, reduce glare by dimming (but not turning off) the lights, and cleaning any smudges or fingerprints off your screen.
Give Your Eyes a Break
Implementing the 20/20/20 rule can help keep your eyes fresh, focused, and ready to work. Every 20 minutes or so, focus on an object roughly 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eye muscles the opportunity to adjust to something different and keeps them from tiring out too quickly.
Ask Us About Computer Glasses
Computer glasses magnify your mid range vision, making it easier to see what’s on the screen in front of you. We can add a special coating to the lenses of your computer glasses to filter out blue light; a potentially damaging band of light frequency to which our eyes are sensitive.
We do not recommend using reading glasses as computer glasses. Reading glasses magnify a different field of vision than computer glasses, and could actually contribute to digital eye strain. Book an eye exam with us, and we can discuss computer glasses for you.