How Digital Eye Strain Happens & Prevention Tips

Mar, 2023 | Eye Health

Working in front of a screen all day can take its toll on your eyes and lead to digital eye strain. March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, the perfect time to learn about reducing the effects of digital eye strain. Digital eye strain is caused by staring at screens for extended periods and can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about digital eye strain, including its symptoms, common causes, and how to prevent it.

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain (DES), also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), is the physical discomfort that results from the prolonged use of computers and other digital devices. It occurs when people spend long periods looking at digital screens without taking breaks or having an ergonomically correct workstation.

Symptoms of digital eye strain

The most common symptom of digital eye strain is eyestrain—a feeling of tiredness in the eyes after spending too much time looking at a screen. Other signs include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty focusing on faraway objects
  • Irritation or redness in the eyes

Common causes of digital eye strain

There are several factors that contribute to digital eye strain. Poor lighting conditions such as glare from windows or overhead lights can cause this condition. Additionally, improper viewing distances from the screen or incorrect monitor height settings force users to crane their necks forward while working on their computers.

Small fonts or low-resolution images can also make it difficult for our eyes to focus on the screen which can also lead to eyestrain. Finally, digital devices emit significant levels of blue light, which can damage eyes over time and cause digital eye strain.

Preventing digital eye strain

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing digital eye strain:

  • Ensure adequate lighting conditions
  • Adjust your monitor’s brightness level
  • Take frequent breaks throughout the day
  • Use artificial tears if necessary
  • Practice good posture when sitting at your desk for long periods

Additionally, it’s important to get regular comprehensive eye exams. Many issues related to digital eye strain may be difficult to detect without an extensive exam performed by a qualified optometrist. During these exams, your eye doctor can identify any underlying issues causing eyestrain and recommend the best treatment before they become worse over time. 

Digital eye strain has become part of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it and live in discomfort! By taking the preventative steps above and scheduling regular eye exams, you can reduce or even prevent this condition. Contact us today in Tinley Park to schedule an exam and learn how we can help you get relief.

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