How to Recognise and Prevent Digital Eye Strain
In today's world, our lives revolve around digital screens. We spend hours a day looking at them. Whether it’s working online, studying, watching TV or scrolling through Social Media, our eyes hardly ever get a break. Over 50% of the population, including men, women and children, suffer from digital eye strain and screen fatigue.
There's no denying that our world is shifting to even more screen time with work and school moving online. As adults and children now spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at digital screens, it’s our job to take care of our eye health. Unfortunately, there is no avoiding this issue, but there are things we can do to prevent eye damage and strain.
It’s essential to take our eye health seriously, just like we do for our physical and mental health. If you’re worried about your vision or someone close to you, keep reading to find out more about digital eye strain, the symptoms and ways to avoid it.
What is digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome, is an unfortunate eye and vision issue caused by digital screen use. Over the last few decades, these issues have become more common.
If you use a computer or digital gadget for an extended amount of time, you most likely suffer from symptoms whether you realise it or not. Digital eye strain is common in children and adults and can lead to severe effects if left untreated.
Digital eye strain can be caused by concentrating on reading text on a computer screen or digital device, which causes more strain than reading a book. Other causes of digital eye strain include:
• Screen glare
• Inadequate lighting in your external environment - either too bright or too dark
• Inadequate lighting on your digital screen itself
• Poor posture while using a digital device
• Using a digital device too close or far from your eyes
• Uncorrected/detected eye vision needs
• Less frequent blinking than usual when using a digital device
• Extended exposure to blue light emitted from digital screens
• Infrequent breaks from your digital devices
Unfortunately, what causes digital eye strain is not just one factor but a combination of them all. It’s important to learn about all the factors to ensure you adjust each one that applies to you.
Digital eye strain symptoms
Computer Vision Syndrome and digital eye strain can be highly unpleasant, resulting in painful physical symptoms. The good news is that if you take the necessary steps to address the problems, you’ll be able to improve them quickly.
The symptoms of digital eye strain can include any of the following:
Much like the causes of digital eye strain, the symptoms you feel may be a combination of a few or all of them in worst-case scenarios.
If symptoms aren’t treated, you may also suffer from extreme digital eye strain that can cause vertigo, nausea and twitching of facial muscles such as the area around your eyes. Ensuring you are following a few simple steps will help decrease your symptoms so you can use your digital devices pain-free.
Digital eye strain treatments
Changes in your everyday behaviours and environment are generally enough to treat digital eye strain. To improve or eliminate your eyestrain symptoms, try the recommendations listed below.
1. Find the correct prescription glasses or contact lenses that fit your needs
Prescription glasses or contact lenses suggested for general use may not be adequate for computer work. Prescription lenses to match your visual needs for computer viewing may be required. You can use unique lens designs, lens powers, tints and coatings to improve your eyesight and comfort.
2. Rest your eyes with the 20-20-20 rule
Follow the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes a well-deserved rest. The 20-20-20 rule is an easy exercise that you can implement everywhere. Every 20 minutes, give your eyes a 20-second rest by focusing on something 20 feet away. Repeating this throughout the day will help with eye fatigue and soreness.
3. Make sure your posture and computer position is correct
If your job is computer-based or you study online, ensure you have the ideal posture and computer position. Your screen should be 4-5 inches below your eyesight and 20-28 inches away from your eyes. Sitting upright with a well-supported back is vital. Add a footrest to support your feet and back to increase comfort.
4. Ensure your lighting works for you
Brightness and glare from direct sunlight can affect what you see on your screen. Try to relocate your monitor, close your curtains or shades to fix these issues and experiment with your screen settings. Increasing your font size and adjusting your screen to the warmer end of the colour spectrum can help alleviate the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome.
5. Try some blue light blocking lenses
Add blue light blocking lenses to your prescription glasses. What are blue light glasses, you ask? These lenses can be added to any glasses easily and will help reduce eye strain and fatigue caused by digital devices.
But how do blue light glasses work? The blue light glasses work by blocking the amount of harmful blue light rays emitted from your digital devices. By wearing a pair of these glasses, you’ll improve headaches, eye strain and even your sleep.
Use your digital devices with ease
Now that you know what digital eye strain symptoms to look out for and how to treat your screen fatigue at home, you’ll be able to use all of your digital devices pain-free. Make sure you get regular eye checkups to keep your eye health in check.