March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and what better time to increase awareness of digital eye strain? If you’re reading this on a laptop or smartphone, chances are you already know about the discomfort associated with too much screen time. Let’s look at digital eye strain, including its symptoms, causes, tips for prevention, and why regular eye exams are important.
What is digital eye strain?
Also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), digital eye strain is a condition caused by the prolonged use of digital devices such as computers and smartphones. Symptoms include:
- Burning or itchy eyes
- Blurry vision
- Dry eye
- Neck/shoulder pain
If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to further complications such as difficulty focusing and decreased productivity at work.
Causes of digital eye strain
The primary cause of digital eye strain is extended exposure to blue light—the type of light emitted from TV screens and computer monitors. Blue light causes damage to the eyes over long periods. Additionally, being too close to screens can strain your eyes as they constantly adjust focus to read words on a page or watch videos. Other causes include poor posture, inadequate or harsh lighting, uncorrected vision problems such as astigmatism, and glare from devices and computer screens.
Tips for prevention
Fortunately, there are several ways you can reduce your risk for digital eye strain. First, you should take frequent breaks from screens to prevent eye strain. Eye care specialists recommend following the 20-20-20 rule. The rule says that every 20 minutes, you should take a 20-second break and focus on an object at least 20 feet away.
Additionally, using anti-glare filters on your screens can help reduce the amount of blue light reaching your eyes. Wearing computer glasses can also help protect your eyes from blue light emissions and relieve eyestrain. These glasses are designed to filter out blue light when staring at screens for long periods.
Finally, it’s important to have regular comprehensive eye exams with a qualified optometrist. Regular exams ensure early detection and timely treatment of underlying issues before they cause serious damage. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, they also help keep your prescription up to date so you’re not squinting when looking at screens and straining your eyes. These exams are especially critical for children who spend long hours in front of tablets or computers since their eyes are still developing!
While modern technology has made our lives easier in many ways, it can also cause the painful, uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain. Following the tips above will not only improve your workplace productivity but also your overall eye health!
If you’re suffering from digital eye strain, our doctors can help! At Vision Center LTD in Shelton or Waterbury Eye Associates in Waterbury, we thoroughly assess your eye health and develop customized treatment plans based on your unique needs. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam and stop living in discomfort.