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Digital Eye Strain

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Digital Eye Strain Is Becoming More Prevalent Among Our Tech-Savvy Population

As the name implies, digital eye strain is the direct result of how we use the digital displays on our laptops, computers, tablets, and smartphones. These devices, which we use outside of how our eyes naturally evolved, can cause a range of symptoms that range from mild to challenging.

What Causes Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain is caused by the combination of factors.

Our eyes evolved to have an ideal focal point of roughly 31” in front of you. This is the point where our eyes see at their natural best. When using smartphones or sitting at the computer, the displays are often well inside this 31” area- this causes our eye focusing muscles to have to work harder.

Our eyes are not designed to focus on a single point for prolonged periods of time. This is why we can experience eye fatigue when reading, watching TV, or working at the computer.

High-energy light (HEL), which we see as blue light, is a spectrum of light that includes ultraviolet light (mostly received from the Sun). Studies have shown that HEL can negatively impact our natural sleep cycle as well as our eye and retina.

We Can Help You Manage Digital Eye Strain

If you want to speak to Dr. Dittman and Dr. Nock about your digital eye strain, please schedule an appointment for a day/time that is convenient for you.

More Information About Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain is associated with annoying but generally mild symptoms, including:

    • Burning, stinging eyes (even when closed)
    • Blurry vision, difficulty focusing
    • Sore neck and upper back

Symptoms similar to dry eye

The 20/20/20 rule is a great way to stave off digital eye strain when working or reading. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eye focusing muscles a respite, reducing eye fatigue.

Glare is a major contributor to digital eye strain. Reducing glare on your eyes (via eyeglass lenses or screen filters) will allow you to remain focused for longer periods of time.

Many eyeglass lenses come coated with a filter that reduces blue light. You can also download software for your digital devices that will change the color settings, again reducing blue light. For PC/Mac users, we recommend f.lux.

If you require corrective lenses, ensure your prescription is current. Squinting exacerbates digital eye strain.

Next Steps

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