Digital eye strain, also referred to as computer vision syndrome, is the discomfort felt when a person spends prolonged exposure to a digital screen (including smartphones, laptops, and tablets).
Symptoms of digital eye strain include watery or dry eyes, blurred or double vision, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light, and headaches. Eye strain can also cause a sore neck, shoulders and back.
Many times something as simple as squinting for better focus can overwork the eye muscles and cause a headache. Our lens and cornea work as a team to help focus the images at the back of the eye (the retina). This is a delicate procedure which does not always function properly, which causes the small muscles of the eye to have to work harder. The end result is eye strain which causes the eyes to feel tired and ache. Vision also becomes blurred.
Tips on Dealing With Digital Eye Strain
We live in a time where we have technology at our fingertips from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. Many jobs in this day and age also revolve around a person staring at some form of a screen for long periods of time throughout the course of a shift. Because of this, we need to be practicing a number of tips that will allow us to avoid this eye strain and move past it. With this in mind, take this opportunity to follow tips that will allow you to move past eye strain.
#1: Always Get Your Eyes Checked At the Optometrist
One of the easiest steps you can take in order to prevent strain on your eyes is get an eye exam from an optometrist. The optometrist will be able to provide you with the help that you need to diagnose any issues that you might be having. They will also update your prescription whenever possible, so that you are able to get necessary vision care.
#2: Work In Areas That Are Well Lit
You should also make sure that you have high quality lighting anywhere that you do a lot of digital work. Invest in a high quality set of lights and lightbulbs and be sure that your office is filled with plenty of natural lighting. This way, your eyes will not have to strain as hard in order to adjust these settings. Everything on your screen should be incredibly legible and easy to read.
#3: Take Plenty of Breaks
Another practical step to take in order to avoid digital eyestrain is to give yourself plenty of breaks. As a rule of thumb, for every hour staring at the screen, you can take a break by changing yourfocus for about 15 minutes. These breaks will allow you to readjust and prevent your eyes from being irritated over time.
#4: Kill Any Glare That Might Be Shining Through the Room
If you are noticing glare on your screen, you will need to figure out how to reposition it and prevent this glare from setting in. Anytime that glare is reflecting off of your screen, even if you have no problem reading the screen, you will be able to prevent your eyes from overworking. A glare always causes your eyes to over work, which will create undue strain that can be very irritating to you.
#5: Get Your Hands on A High Quality Monitor
Finally, be sure that you do your best to upgrade your monitors whenever possible. Using an old and outdated monitor can make it difficult to relax your eyes and simply read the screen. If you have had your television, tablet or any other device for a long period of time, it is time to get a brand-new screen. You should also keep the screens well maintained so that your eyes will be less taxed in the process.
“Some computer users experience problems with eye focusing or eye coordination that can’t be adequately corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. A program of vision therapy may be needed to treat these specific problems. Vision therapy, also called visual training, is a structured program of visual activities prescribed to improve visual abilities. It trains the eyes and brain to work togethter more effectively. These eye exercises help remediate deficiencies in eye movement, eye focusing and eye teaming and reinforce the eye-brain connection. Treatment may include office-based as well as home training procedures.” ~ American Optometric Association
We have plenty of technology at our fingertips in this day and age – literally. This can be a gift and a curse, because that technology can help you get so much work done and help you deal with plenty of entertainment, but it can also wear your eyes down prematurely. Follow the tips above so that you are able to avoid digital eye strain.