What is Digital Eye Strain?
Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eye Strain, describes a group of vision related problems that result from prolonged computer, tabler and cell phone use.
Many people experience discomfort when using digital devices for prolonged periods of time.
Many Americans spend over 7 hours a day with their eyes trained on a digital device. This has resulted in the growing issue of digital eye strain. The extent to which you may experience visual symptoms may depend on
- amount of time looking at screens
- uncorrected vision problems eg) farsightedness or astigmatism
- inadequate eye focusing or eye coordinationabilities
- age changing of the eyes eg) presbyopia
Chances are you are one of these people and may experience some of the following symptoms.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
- Blurred or double vision
- Tired, heavy, and irritated eyes
- Burning eyes
- Watery eyes
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Poor sleep (excessive blue light from screens may interrupt cicadian rhthym)
CVS can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam.
Strategies to Manage Digital Eye Strain
Other than reducing time spent on digital devices, the following may help reduce symptoms
Eye Exam to Check for Refractive Errors
Schedule a comprehensive eye exam to check if refractive error may be causing blurred or distorted vision.
The 20/20/20 Rule
To prevent your eye muscles from becoming strained, use the 20/20/20 rule. Your eyes need adequate breaks during prolonged digital device usage. Look at an object at least 20 feet away for approximately 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This helps relax your eye muscles. and gives your eyes time to refocus and readjust.
A single vision computer prescription customized to your digital needs
For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eyeglasses prescription customized to your digital needs.
This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses which may become dry and uncomfortable during extended screen time.
Computer glasses may be a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen.
Photochromic lenses or lightly tinted lenses may be used for computer eyewear to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful blue light emitted by digital devices.