Understanding Digital Eye Strain & How to Prevent It

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Do you ever feel like your eyes are tired and strained after a long day of staring at your phone or computer? If so, you may be suffering from digital eye strain. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what digital eye strain is, its common causes, how to prevent it, and the treatment options available.

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain is a condition caused by prolonged exposure to electronic devices—like computers, tablets, and smartphones—that emit blue light. This type of light can cause eye strain in certain individuals as well as headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision, and even neck pain due to poor posture while using the device. It’s important to note that digital eye strain can affect anyone regardless of age or pre-existing vision problems.

Common causes of digital eye strain

Digital eye strain is often caused by staring at screens for too long without taking breaks or adjusting the device’s settings to reduce the amount of blue light it emits. Other factors that can contribute to digital eye strain include not using proper lighting when using a device (such as working in a dimly lit room) and not having an ergonomic setup for your workstation (i.e., having your workstation at an appropriate height). Additionally, wearing glasses or contact lenses that are out of date or don’t fit properly can lead to digital eye strain symptoms.

How to prevent digital eye strain

You can prevent digital eye strain by practicing good habits when using electronic devices. For example, you should take regular breaks from looking at screens every 20 minutes or so. Other ways to prevent eye strain include:

  • Adjust the brightness and contrast settings on your screen
  • Use proper lighting when working
  • Reevaluate your workplace ergonomics
  • Ensure your glasses or contact lenses are up to date and fit properly

There are also specialized computer glasses available that block out blue light. These glasses are useful if you spend long periods in front of a computer screen, as they can reduce the symptoms of eye strain.

Treatment options for digital eye strain

If you have been suffering from digital eye strain, it’s important to speak with an optometrist about possible treatments that may help relieve your symptoms. Your optometrist may suggest wearing prescription eyeglasses specifically designed for computer use (with anti-reflective coating). Another option is to wear contact lenses that filter out blue light emitted by screens, reducing glare while providing clearer vision.

Alternatively, over-the-counter artificial tear drops can help alleviate dryness due to prolonged use of electronic devices. These drops contain lubricants that help keep your eyes moist for longer periods. There are also medications that your optometrist can prescribe depending on the severity of your symptoms. These treatments should be combined with the best practices mentioned above such as taking frequent breaks away from screens, wearing proper eyewear, etc.    

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of digital eye strain, make sure to schedule an appointment with EyeQ Optical today!

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