How to Avoid Digital Eye Strain at Work

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March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, meaning it’s the perfect time to talk about digital eye strain. Digital eye strain (DES) is a common condition resulting from the extended use of digital screens. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eye, fatigue, and even neck and shoulder pain. 

In addition to causing discomfort, digital eye strain can have long-term effects on your vision if left unchecked. That’s why it’s important to understand the causes of digital eye strain and how to prevent it. 

Common causes of digital eye strain 

The most common cause of digital eye strain is simply spending too much time looking at computer or phone screens. But other factors can increase your risk of developing digital eye strain.

Poor lighting can cause DES because your eyes must work harder to see in a poorly lit environment. Sitting too close or too far away from a screen can also be a contributing factor. That’s why you should always maintain an ideal distance between yourself and any device you are using for an extended period. 

Additionally, not taking regular breaks from looking at screens can increase your risk of developing digital eye strain. Uncorrected refractive errors such as farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia can also increase the severity of DES symptoms.  

Preventing digital eye strain

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to reduce the risk of developing digital eye strain. It’s good practice to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Other prevention tips include:

  • Adjust text size for easier reading 
  • Ensure the room you’re working in is well-lit
  • Use blue light filters on all devices you frequently use
  • Blink often while using electronic devices (blinking naturally helps lubricate the eyes!)
  • Avoid glare on your screen by adjusting brightness settings
  • Wear computer glasses to filter out blue light

Finally, make sure you schedule regular eye exams to catch issues early on before they cause significant damage. These exams are an important part of preventing digital eye strain and keeping your eyes healthy. During the eye exam, your eye doctor will assess your overall eye health and vision, address any vision concerns, and correct any refractive errors. After conducting the eye exam, your doctor will recommend treatment options and solutions for digital eye strain or any other conditions. 

If you’re experiencing prolonged symptoms of digital eye strain, schedule an eye exam at EyeQ Optical in Spokane Valley to discuss treatment options with our eye doctor. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find relief! 

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