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Digital Eye Strain Adds Unnecessary Stress to Your Workday

Most of us spend a lot of our day staring at a screen. Have you ever considered what kind of effect that has on your eyes? Digital eye strain is a very common problem nowadays; one with less than pleasant side effects. The more you know about digital eye strain, the more effectively you can protect yourself.

Eye Glasses

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Eye strain isn’t exclusively caused by digital device use. In fact, many activities that require extended periods of focus, like reading, writing, or driving, can lead to eye strain. However, digital device use is one of the most common causes because your eyes have to work harder to maintain a clear image when viewing a digital screen. 

We also: 

  • Tend to blink less while using computers, contributing to dry eyes and discomfort

  • Use devices at less than ideal angles, causing neck, back, and shoulder pain

  • Use devices with glare, reflection, poor contrast, and brightness, making us strain to see the screen

Uncorrected vision problems, like nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, or an eye muscle imbalance, can also make your eyes work harder, leading to worse digital eye strain symptoms.

Unfortunately not. The human body does adapt to its environment, but this process can take hundreds, if not thousands of years. Our eyes will most likely adapt to meet the demands we put on them eventually, but considering digital displays have really only become such a common part of our daily lives in the last decade or so, it makes sense that our eyes haven’t quite had a chance to catch up.

Digital displays emit something called blue light. Blue light is very difficult for the eye to focus, as it tends to scatter. As a result, your eye works extra hard to make sense of what it’s seeing; tiring it out sooner. That’s why you’re more likely to experience eye strain after a day of computer use than after a day spent reading a book. One study conducted on animals indicated that blue light could also cause some damage to retinal cells.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Symptoms of digital eye strain vary from person to person, but the most common are:


  • Blurred or double vision

  • Sore, tired, or burning eyes

  • Excessive tearing

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Dry eyes

  • Headaches

  • Back, shoulder, or neck pain

  • Difficulty concentrating

Many of these symptoms are similar to symptoms caused by other eye conditions. If you experience any of these, especially if they don’t go away when you’re off your device, please book an appointment so we can check for an underlying cause.


Holding Electronic Gadget

Treating Digital Eye Strain

For most, finding relief from digital eye strain involves making a few simple lifestyle changes. Taking frequent breaks, setting up your workstation properly, and remembering to blink are all easy, economical strategies for reducing eye strain symptoms. 

And of course, come see us for regular eye exams. Your optometrist can adjust your prescription, recommend devices like computer glasses, or give you additional advice for avoiding eye strain.

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