Do you find you’re getting frequent headaches after working in front of your computer all day? Maybe you’re feeling some neck and shoulder pain along with blurry vision.
If you spend long hours in front of a computer screen or your phone, you may be experiencing digital eye strain. This condition is caused by the constant use of digital devices and can lead to headaches, blurred vision, and other problems. Here’s what you need to know about digital eye strain and how to prevent it.
What are the symptoms of digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain is a group of eye and vision problems, brought on by prolonged use of computers, tablets, and phones. The rapid evolution of technology and the accompanying changes in our lifestyle, including more people working from home offices and increased time spent looking at phone screens, means more people than ever are experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.
Symptoms of digital eye strain include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Sore and tired eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
Digital eye strain symptoms can be worsened if you’re working with poor lighting, have bad posture or are seated at an improper distance from your computer screen, have uncorrected vision problems such as astigmatism, presbyopia, farsightedness, or if your eyes don’t work together properly.
How can I prevent digital eye strain?
If your job requires you to be in front of a computer most of the day, there are steps you can take to relieve symptoms of digital eye strain or even prevent developing it in the first place.
Take regular breaks from your computer
Follow the 20/20/20 rule! Every twenty minutes, look at something at least twenty feet away for at least twenty seconds. If possible, get up from your desk and walk around. This will help you prevent eye fatigue and neck and shoulder pain.
Set up and maintain the proper distance between you and your computer screen at your desk
The proper distance between you and your computer screen is between twenty to twenty-eight inches and positioned about four to five inches below eye level.
Remember to blink
We tend to blink less often when focusing on a screen but blinking less often can make you more susceptible to developing dry eye. Try to develop an awareness about blinking and consciously blink more often to keep your eyes hydrated.
Visit your eye doctor for an eye exam
During your visit, be sure to mention that you spend a lot of time in front of a computer for work and have been experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Your eye doctor may recommend wearing eyeglasses that have blue light blockers in the lenses and are optimized for computer use, otherwise known as “computer glasses.”
The doctors at Clarin Eye Care or Coral Gables Eye Care can also diagnose any vision problems which may be worsening your digital eye strain, such as astigmatism, presbyopia, farsightedness, or problems with how your eyes work together. You may need an updated prescription to feel more comfortable while working in front of your computer. Book an appointment for an eye exam today!