What Is Digital Eye Strain?

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Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2018 by Dr. Robert Mack
What is digital eye strain?

Take a moment to think about how much time you spend using your smartphone, laptop, office computer or tablet. If you’re like many people, the number of hours you spend staring at digital screens easily reaches the double digits each week. Unfortunately, this prolonged screen time can take a toll on your eyes. According to the Vision Council, more than 60 percent of Americans report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Also known as computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain refers to a group of vison-related issues that although benign, can be very bothersome.

In this blog post, Mack Eye Center, a team of board certified eye doctors serving Hoffman Estates and the surrounding area, shares more information on digital eye strain, including how you can prevent or minimize symptoms.

Common Symptoms

Digital eye strain is a result of staring at a digital screen for more than two consecutive hours. Common symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye twitching
  • Double vision
  • Red eyes
  • Headaches
  • Burning eyes
  • Dry eye
  • Eye fatigue
  • Neck, shoulder and back pain

Treating Digital Eye Strain

Why should digital eye strain be treated? While symptoms do not cause any serious eye damage, they can lead to a considerable amount of discomfort that can make daily life difficult (think back pain, headaches and poor posture). Several studies have found that digital eye strain can lower work productivity. In addition, prolonged exposure to digital screens can make you lose out on a good night’s rest as the blue light emitted by digital screens disrupts natural sleep patterns. Taking simple steps to minimize the effect of digital eye strain can keep your eyes and body physically comfortable and your mind sharp and focused. If you experience digital eye strain, consider making the following adjustments:

  • Limit your screen time.
  • Give your eyes a break by focusing on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Blink more frequently to prevent your eyes from drying out.
  • Use preservative-free artificial tears to keep eyes moist and comfortable.
  • Position your computer screen 20 to 28 inches away from your face and 15 to 20 degrees below your eye level.
  • Install an anti-glare screen on your computer screen.
  • Modify the brightness of your screen to match the brightness of your surroundings.
  • See your eye doctor for eye lubrication solutions which can potentially increase your screen time and improve your productivity.

To learn more about digital eye strain, schedule an appointment with the Mack Eye Center. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team.