Screen-Based Eye Strain
What does your technology do for you? Today, we can order dinner, buy concert tickets, chat with friends, play games, and even work, all from virtually any device with a screen. Smartphones, gaming consoles, computers, and tablets make our lives more convenient.
But, there are some drawbacks to increased screen time. It’s almost impossible to get away from devices at school, work, and home, and as a result, an estimated 65% of Americans suffer from discomfort related to digital eye strain. Too much screen time can also affect how kids’ eyes develop, linking to an increased risk of myopia (nearsightedness).
Digital eye strain is also known as computer vision syndrome. It refers to a group of ocular issues stemming from too much time spent using digital devices.
If you’re experiencing eye discomfort after staring at your screen, we can help. We’ll assess your screen habits and provide some strategies to mitigate your discomfort.
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Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
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There are a few common symptoms associated with digital eye strain, including:
- Dry eyes
- Eye strain
- Blurry vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
Often, symptoms will alleviate when you take a solid screen time break. But, the discomfort will return once you’re in front of a digital device again. To find long-term relief, you’ll need to implement some prevention strategies.
It’s also important to visit your optometrist to help detect any other conditions that might affect your eye comfort.
Mitigating Digital Eye Strain
Adjusting your work area, taking intentional screen breaks, and ensuring you have sufficient lighting while using your digital device are all strategies that can help reduce digital eye strain.
Office (or classroom) ergonomics and proper posture can help keep you comfortable while using digital devices. While you’re at your desk, be sure to sit upright with your feet flat on the floor. Your shoulders should not be rounded or hunched, and your neck should align with your torso.
Keep devices at eye level and your keyboard and mouse near enough to prevent reaching.
Remind kids to keep their backs lined up with their chairs, or imagine keeping their backs straight as a tree.
If you’re reading on your digital device, increase the font size to minimize squinting.Contrast and color tones should also be set to maximize your comfort.
Talk to your child about what font size feels most comfortable for them and help them make appropriate contrast adjustments.
The light levels both in the room around you and on your device can help prevent digital eye strain. Turn down your screen’s brightness to match the lighting levels of your surroundings. If the light from the room reflects on your screen, the glare can also contribute to eye strain.
Anti-glare screens are available for your device’s display, and glasses with an anti-reflective coating can help.
Remind your kids to turn on the lights in dark rooms to avoid tired eyes.
The 20-20-20 Rule
When you’re concentrating on your work, it might be challenging to take a break, but following the 20-20-20 rule can help to relax your eyes. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps give your eyes a chance to refocus, reducing strain.
Set a reminder on your phone or set up parental controls on your kid’s device for scheduled breaks and screen time limits.
Kids & Digital Eye Strain
Increased device use also means kids are spending more time indoors. The World Health Organization recommends limiting screen time for children and encouraging them to play outside instead.
Children should have regular, comprehensive eye exams to support the health of their vision, regardless of their screen time. Schedule an appointment to support your child’s eye health today.
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At SEE 20/20 Optometry, the one-on-one attention we give each patient sets us apart from others in the field. We have been serving Orange County since 1999, with the highest level of eye care. Your eye health is of great importance to us!
- 3930 S. Bristol Street Suite 207
- Santa Ana, CA 92694
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
- Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Thursday: Closed
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
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