With the growing use of digital screens—including phones, tablets, computers, televisions, and gaming systems—it’s not surprising to learn that 65% of people spend between three to nine hours a day viewing a digital screen. Another 28% spend ten or more hours in front of a screen. Since you’re reading this on a screen, I’m pretty sure you qualify for one of those groups.
Computer Vision Syndrome
All this viewing can lead to computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain, which is the result of two or more hours in front of a digital screen. It consists of dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, neck and back pain as well as headaches.
The Effects of Screens
Here’s a quick rundown of the common effects of computer screens on your vision:
- Dry Eyes. This can come from lower rates of blinking when focusing on the screen. This, in turn, allows your eyes to dry out, itch, and turn red.
- Blurred Vision. This can be caused by the blue light and high-energy visible (HEV) light emitted by computer screens. This type of light reduces screen contrast and makes it tough to focus. It can also cause long term damage to your retina.
- Neck and Back Pain. Leaning forward peering into your screen for hours on end puts a tremendous strain on your neck and back. That leads to pain.
- Headaches. All of this adds up to headaches and fatigue.
What You Can Do
If you feel that you’re experiencing digital eye strain, or if you want to head it off before it begins, here’s what we recommend:
- Reduced time in front of a computer screen. You can limit your time in front of a computer screen, which can help alleviate any mounting eye strain. This, of course, is easier said than actually done. Perhaps you can take a break from screens outside of work.
- Try the 20-20-20 Rule for preventing digital eye strain. Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It works.
- Adjust your workstation. Make sure your screen is placed at the optimum position for your eyes. As one tip, you should be looking slightly down on the screen. See my blog posted titled “What You Need to Know About Ergonomics at Work“ for more tips on setting up your workstation.
- Eye exam. Make sure you get an eye exam. This can ensure that you have the right prescription or provide you with one if you need vision correction. This is sound practice and can head off many potential problems.
- Computer eyeglasses. There are also options for eyeglasses that filter blue light and have antireflective coatings to reduce glare.
Take Care of Your Vision
If you have a problem with computer vision syndrome, eye strain, dry eyes, or anything else, we can help. Use our contact form or call us at 972-612-2099.
Disclaimer: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.