What Are The Symptoms Of Digital Eye Strain?

What Are The Symptoms Of Digital Eye Strain?

Today, many of us are glued to our phones, laptops, or any other type of screen for work or school. COVID-19 significantly affected how much we use our screens. Many employees spend more time on the computer due to meetings being moved online and students have been required to participate in classroom teaching at home through a laptop. Staring at a screen for this amount of time can cause significant strain on your eyes. Eye strain is an uncomfortable but not serious condition and is common in both children and adults. Digital eye strain can be managed by limiting activities that cause eye strain and making certain lifestyle changes.

Digital Eye Strain

Causes Of Digital Eye Strain

Reading text on a computer or digital device is often more difficult for the eyes than reading text on paper. When working at your computer, your eyes have to focus and refocus constantly. You may have to switch between browser tabs where one has larger text displayed and the other has small, detailed text. Your eyes also react to images constantly moving and changing, shifting focus, sending rapidly varying images to your brain. This is why even working at a computer for only a few hours can cause digital eye strain. Other factors that contribute to digital eye strain include:

  • Screen glare
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor posture while using a computer or phone
  • Uncorrected vision problems 

Most people often blink less when using a computer as well, which can cause dry eyes and further exacerbate digital eye strain symptoms.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

There is no evidence that computer use causes long-term damage to the eyes. But regular use can lead to eye strain and discomfort. Common symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry eye
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye itching
  • Headaches
  • Eye tearing
  • Neck and shoulder pain

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, book an eye exam with your optometrist to ensure you do not have any underlying vision problems. Most of these symptoms are temporary and go away when you stop using your computer or device for some time. The severity of your symptoms may also depend on underlying eye problems or how long you have been using a computer or device.

Treatments For Digital Eye Strain

A few simple changes to your workspace can improve your symptoms and prevent them from reoccurring. Try these simple tips to help prevent digital eye strain:

  • Rest your eyes for fifteen minutes after every two hours spent on a computer or device
  • Every twenty minutes, look into the distance at least twenty feet away for twenty seconds
  • Enlarge the text on your computer screen and phone
  • Use a screen glare filter
  • Remember to blink often
  • Remember proper posture when sitting and using a computer or device
  • Place your screen an arms length away from you

Book Your Comprehensive Eye Exam Today!

Eye strain is becoming more frequent in this digital age. Generally, eye strain can be treated with simple, non-invasive methods such as reducing screen time use. If your symptoms do not go away after taking a break from screen time use, book a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor to determine if you need special eyewear or eye drops to reduce eye strain. 

If you are experiencing digital eye strain symptoms or need to book an eye exam to check the quality of your vision, contact Sunridge Eye Clinic. Our experienced optometrists can assess your vision and develop a personal treatment plan to help you see clearly. Book a comprehensive or senior eye exam today by calling 1-403-280-7518 or book online.

FAQ

Q: Can children have digital eye strain?
A: Yes, they can. Anyone who uses computers or other screen devices can suffer from digital eye strain

Q: How long is a comprehensive eye exam?
A: A comprehensive eye exam will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the tests performed by your optometrist.

Q: How often should I get an eye exam?
A: Adults are recommended to visit their optometrist for an eye exam once every two years. Adults over the age of 65+ are recommended to receive an eye exam annually.


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