Understanding Digital Eye Strain

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In today’s world, digital devices are deeply ingrained in people’s routines. Especially following the spike in remote work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people rely on digital devices to work throughout the day — not to mention to communicate with friends and family from afar.

Unfortunately, looking at digital screens for extended periods strain the eyes, which can lead to eye pain and vision problems. Referred to as digital eye strain, these problems can be disruptive to your day-to-day routine. But, by better understanding digital eye strain, you can more effectively avoid the adverse effects of prolonged screen time. 

What Exactly is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain refers to multiple eye-related issues that can be caused by using a cell phone, tablet, computer, or e-reader for extended periods. Prolonged use of digital devices often causes vision issues and eye discomfort. If the use of digital devices increases, these issues are typically exacerbated. 

Some of the most common symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Dry eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Eye tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Double vision

What Causes Digital Eye Strain?

There are many factors that can lead to digital eye strain. Of course, the prolonged use of digital devices (2 or more hours every day) is the main cause of this issue. When you’re looking at a digital screen, it can force your eyes to work harder, which can lead to a range of symptoms.

The following factors can also lead to digital eye strain:

  • Uncorrected vision problems
  • Non-optimal viewing distance from the screen
  • Poor posture while using the device
  • Poor lighting
  • Glare on the screen

Uncorrected vision problems often play a large role in digital eye strain. These problems may include astigmatism, farsightedness, eye coordination issues, poor eye focusing, and eye problems caused by aging. Scheduling an eye exam can ensure those vision problems are diagnosed and treated to prevent digital eye strain, along with other complications. 

How is Digital Eye Strain Treated?

To treat digital eye strain, it’s important for patients to improve the conditions under which they use digital devices. This includes placing the screen an arm’s length from your eyes, remembering the blink frequently, looking away from the screen every 20 minutes, and resting your eyes for at least 15 minutes every two hours. Improving your posture while working and increasing the font size on the screen can also help prevent digital eye strain. 

If you’re struggling with eye discomfort or vision issues, schedule an appointment at The Eye Clinic of Florida to get checked for any uncorrected vision issues. One of our optometrists can also offer further solutions for digital eye strain.