What is Digital Eye Strain?

Aug 30, 2022 | Eye Care

If you spend long hours in front of a computer screen or your phone, you may be experiencing digital eye strain. This condition is caused by the constant use of digital devices and can lead to headaches, blurred vision, and other problems. Here’s what you need to know about digital eye strain and how to prevent it.

What are the symptoms of digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain is a group of eye and vision problems, brought on from prolonged use of computers, tablets, and phones. The rapid evolution of technology and the accompanying changes in our lifestyle, including more people working from home offices and increased time spent looking at phone screens means more people than ever are experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include blurry vision, headaches, sore and tired eyes, neck, and shoulder pain. Digital eye strain symptoms can be worsened if you’re working with poor lighting, have bad posture or are seated at an improper distance from your computer screen, have uncorrected vision problems such as astigmatism, presbyopia, farsightedness, or if your eyes don’t work together properly.

How can I prevent digital eye strain?

If your job requires you to be in front of a computer most of the day, there are steps you can take to relieve symptoms of digital eye strain or even prevent developing it in the first place.

Take regular breaks from your computer

Follow the 20/20/20 rule! Every twenty minutes, look at something at least twenty feet away for at least twenty seconds. If possible, get up from your desk and walk around. This will help you prevent eye fatigue and neck and shoulder pain.

Set up and maintain the proper distance between you and your computer screen at your desk

The proper distance between you and your computer screen is between twenty to twenty-eight inches and positioned about four to five inches below eye level.

Remember to blink

We tend to blink less often when focusing on a screen but blinking less often can make you more susceptible to developing dye eye. Try to develop an awareness about blinking and consciously blink more often to keep your eyes hydrated.

Visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam

During your comprehensive eye exam visit, be sure to mention that you spend a lot of time in front of a computer for work and have been experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Your eye doctor may recommend wearing eyeglasses that have blue light blockers in the lenses and are optimized for computer use, otherwise known as “computer glasses”.

The doctors at Omaha Primary Eyecare can also diagnose any vision problems which may be worsening your digital eye strain, such as astigmatism, presbyopia, farsightedness, or problems with how your eyes work together.