Tips To Help with Digital Eye Strain
As the world becomes more digitized, we're spending more and more time staring at screens. Whether for work or entertainment, prolonged screen time can lead to digital eye strain. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Fortunately, there are several ways to alleviate digital eye strain.
What is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital Eye Strain (DES), or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), occurs when the eye is strained due to prolonged use of digital devices emitting harmful light, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. DES has become a prevalent issue as more people spend long periods in front of screens. According to the National Center for Health Research, two out of three Americans suffer from digital eye strain symptoms.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
The symptoms of digital eye strain can vary from person to person, but they typically include the following:
· Dry eyes
· Eye fatigue
· Blurry vision
· Neck and shoulder pain
These symptoms can occur after as little as two hours of screen time and can affect anyone, regardless of age. If you experience any of these symptoms, you might suffer from digital eye strain, indicating that it's time to take the necessary steps to prevent it.
Causes of Digital Eye Strain
The main causes of digital eye strain are:
· Blue Light: Digital devices emit blue light, a high-energy visible light that can cause damage to the eyes over time. Exposure to blue light can cause eye fatigue, dryness, and discomfort. You can use blue light filters on your devices or wear blue light-blocking glasses to reduce your exposure to blue light.
· Poor Lighting: Poor lighting can cause digital eye strain and fatigue, especially when using digital devices. To reduce the strain on your eyes, ensure that your workspace is well-lit, and avoid using screens in dark rooms.
· Incorrect Viewing Distance: Viewing digital devices at an incorrect distance can also cause eye strain. The recommended distance for viewing screens is 20-24 inches away from your eyes. Adjust your device's settings or use a stand to ensure the correct distance.
· Screen Glare: Glare from digital devices can cause digital eye strain and discomfort. Adjust your screen's brightness and position to reduce glare, or use an anti-glare screen filter.
· Poor Posture: Your posture when using digital devices can also cause eye strain. Ensure that your device is at eye level, and use an ergonomic chair and desk to promote good posture.
· Prolonged Use: Prolonged use of digital devices can cause digital eye strain and fatigue. Take regular breaks to rest your eyes, and follow the 20-20-20 rule, which states that after every 20 minutes, you should take a break for 20 seconds and look at something around 20 feet away.
Tips to Help with Digital Eye Strain
There are several ways to prevent digital eye strain, including:
Take Regular Breaks
One of the simplest ways to reduce digital eye strain is to take regular breaks from screen time. The American Optometric Association recommends following the 20-20-20 rule. This helps give your eyes a chance to rest and refocus, preparing them for another 20 minutes of screen time.
Adjust Your Screen
Adjust your screen's brightness, contrast, and font size to reduce eye strain. Also, position your screen so it's slightly below eye level and about arm's length away from your face. This can reduce glare and make it more comfortable to look at your screen.
Use Proper Lighting
Proper lighting is essential to minimize eye strain. Adjust the lighting in your workspace to reduce the contrast between the computer screen and the surrounding area. Positioning the monitor perpendicular to the window is best to minimize glare.
Blinking helps moisten your eyes and prevent dryness. When you stare at a screen, you blink less frequently, leading to dry eyes. To prevent this, consciously blink more often when using your computer or other devices.
Use Blue Light Filters
Blue light from electronic devices can disrupt your sleep cycle and lead to eye strain. Several apps and software programs can help reduce blue light exposure. Some devices also have built-in blue light filters that you can turn on.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining good eye health. They can help detect any vision problems early on and prevent long-term damage. If you're experiencing digital eye strain, mention it to your doctor during your next exam.
Glare is one of the leading causes of digital eye strain. You can use a glare filter or an anti-reflective coating on your computer screen to minimize glare. You can also position your monitor to avoid direct sunlight or overhead lighting that can reflect off the screen.
Upgrade Display to LED
LED displays emit less blue light than traditional screens, reducing the risk of digital eye strain. Upgrading to an LED display can also improve contrast and color accuracy, making it easier on the eyes.
Adjust Computer Display Settings
Most computers come with display settings that allow you to adjust the brightness, contrast, and color temperature. Lowering the brightness and reducing the blue light emitted from the screen can reduce eye strain. Adjust the color temperature to a warmer tone to reduce the amount of blue light.
Use Computer Glasses
Computer glasses are specially designed to reduce eye strain caused by digital screens. They have anti-reflective coatings and filters that reduce glare and blue light from the screen. Computer glasses can also help alleviate symptoms of headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
Digital eye strain is a common problem affecting anyone staring at screens for long periods. By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of digital eye strain and keep your eyes healthy. Reducing digital eye strain can help you enjoy screen time without worrying about the impact on your eyes.