Dr. Jim Martin 12/28/2015

working-computers.jpgIt's hard to avoid digital devices. The majority of us spend a great portion of our day looking at computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. Studies have shown that nine out of 10 adults spend at least two hours a day using a digital device.

While these devices are clearly a necessary part of our lives, they can be hard on your eyes and lead to digital eye strain. 

What Is Digital Eye Strain?

You experience digital eye strain as physical discomfort after looking at digital screens for two or more hours. It's associated with the close- to mid-range distance of digital screens, including cell phones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and so on. The strain comes, in part, because you blink less while staring at digital devices than you would in other everyday activities. This can result in itchy, burning or dry eyes.

  • Some Causes

    1. Digital devices often include small print and pixelated images that are hard to read and cause your eyes to strain.
    • 2. We may also be using devices incorrectly by holding them at the wrong angle, or too far away.
    • 3. Another cause of digital eye strain is blue light, also known as high-energy visible light. It's emitted by digital devices and increases eye strain more than colors of a longer wavelength.
    • Symptoms Of Digital Eye Strain

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes

Preventing Digital Eye Strain

There are a number of things you can do to protect your eyes from digital eye strain, including:
  1. 1. Increase the text size on your devices to better define the content.
  2. 2. Sit at the right distance from your computer. To test this, extend your arm. Your palm should comfortable rest on your computer's monitor.
  3. 3. Your existing eye wear can be tailored to computer or occupational lenses.
  4. 4. Adjust the light. Eye strain can come from harsh indoor lighting or bright outdoor light that shines into your work area. A general rule of thumb when using a computer is that lighting should be about as half as bright as the light normally found in offices.
  5. 5. Minimize glare. Glare from walls, finished surfaces and your computer screen can cause strain on your eyes. Consider purchasing a computer anti-glare screen while making your surroundings a darker color.
  6. 6. Use the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of computer use, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  7. 7. Purchase computer eyewear with lenses that block blue light.

For help in correcting digital eye strain, turn to Broome Optical in Amarillo. We're available to schedule your appointment and answer any questions you may have. Download our "Top Questions To Ask Your Eye Doctor" worksheet for your next appointment.

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