March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, a great time to raise awareness about protecting our eyes from digital eye strain. Digital eye strain is a condition caused by prolonged exposure to screens, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of digital eye strain, the common causes, and how you can prevent it.
Symptoms of digital eye strain
Digital eye strain can cause a variety of symptoms. These include blurry vision, difficulty focusing on objects in the distance or up close, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, fatigue, dry eyes, and sensitivity to light.
Common causes of digital eye strain
The most common cause of digital eye strain is the overuse of screens without taking enough breaks. Other causes include:
- Issues related to eyewear prescription accuracy and quality
- Glare from computer screens or other device screens
- Improper lighting (such as too much natural light or not enough lighting overall)
- Bad posture while using devices
- Improper placement of computer monitors relative to your body (too close or too far away)
All these factors can contribute to digital eye strain if they are not addressed properly.
Preventing digital eye strain
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent digital eye strain. Take regular breaks from screens and practice the 20-20-20 rule. This rule involves looking away from screens every 20 minutes and focusing on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Other prevention tips include:
- Placing your monitor at least 25” away from your face
- Investing in anti-glare filters for monitors
- Adjusting the lighting in your room so it’s not overly bright
- Sitting up straight while using computers
- Wearing blue-light-blocking glasses when necessary
- Using artificial tears throughout the day if needed
Lastly, it’s crucial to get regular eye exams to catch any vision changes early on. During these exams, your eye doctor will assess your vision and eye health and look for signs of eye diseases and other conditions. They will conduct tests to determine if digital eye strain is causing your discomfort or another underlying issue. Additionally, if you wear glasses or contact lenses, your optometrist can make sure your prescription is accurate so you’re not straining to see screens clearly.
By following the tips above and scheduling regular eye exams, you can preserve your healthy vision now and into the future! At Clarin Eye Care and Coral Gables Eye Care, our team of eye care professionals can identify any problems that may be causing your symptoms to help you get relief. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.