What Is Digital Eye Strain?

As a number of our daily tasks and responsibilities become digital, we are spending more time than ever looking at computers, tablets and smartphones. And prolonged exposure to digital devices can take quite a toll on the eyes. A 2015 survey by the Vision Council found that 65 percent of Americans experience symptoms of what eye doctors call digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. Read on as Dr. Edward Hedaya of InVision EyeCare explains what you should know about digital eye strain.

Symptoms and Causes of Digital Eye Strain

Some of the most common signs of digital eye strain include the following:

These symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors related to how we use digital devices. Our eyes and brain have to work differently to focus on and read characters on a computer or smartphone screen, as opposed to how they read text in a book or magazine.

In general, it’s harder for the eyes to focus on words and images on a computer screen, and the eyes tend to default to a resting point and then strain to regain focus. Repeating this pattern can eventually lead to the symptoms of digital eye strain.

Other factors, such as poor lighting, glare on the screen, bad posture and uncorrected vision problems can also play a part in digital eye strain. Plus, we tend to blink less when performing computer work, which can lead to dry, irritated eyes.

Identifying and Treating Digital Eye Strain

If you spend a lot of time on a computer or smartphone and are experiencing symptoms consistent with digital eye strain, you should seek the expertise of a board-certified ophthalmologist that has experience in computer vision syndrome. The doctor will perform an examination and some tests to look for vision problems that could contribute to digital eye strain.

Your doctor can also recommend some tips to reduce symptoms and increase comfort while using digital devices. For example, wearing computer glasses could be helpful. Adjusting overhead lighting or contrast on your computer is another useful idea. And checking your posture and ergonomic setup is wise.

You may also find the 20-20-20 rule helpful. For every 20 minutes of computer work, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a brief break. And, try to blink more frequently.

Contact Our Team

For more information about digital eye strain or to be screened for the condition, please make an appointment at our practice. Call (732) 210-0140 or email InVision EyeCare today.

You Might Also Enjoy...