Digital eye strain (often interchanged with the phrase, “computer vision syndrome”) is the name given to eye problems caused by prolonged computer use.
As digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets have become an integral part of our daily lives, more people are experiencing digital eye strain. This condition is characterised by:
- Dry, irritated eyes
- Blurred vision
- Neck pain
- Muscle fatigue.
There are many ways you can prevent digital eye strain, including the following.
Take Frequent Breaks
One of the most effective ways to prevent digital eye strain is to take frequent breaks from your digital devices. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This can help to reduce eye strain and give your eyes a chance to relax.
Adjust Your Device Settings
Try adjusting your device settings by increasing the font size and/or adjusting the brightness and contrast levels. These can all help to reduce eye strain. Your screen brightness shouldn’t look either bright or dim, but should match the environmental brightness; in short, be as bright as the background. You can also use a blue light filter to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your device, which can help reduce eye strain and also improve the quality of your sleep.
Position Your Devices Correctly
Proper positioning of your devices can also help to prevent digital eye strain. Your computer monitor should be at eye level. Also ensure your devices are at a comfortable distance from your eyes. The ideal distance is about arm’s length away.
If you need glasses, it may be appropriate to have these customised specifically for your computer setup. Talk to your optometrist about this.
Blinking is an essential part of maintaining your overall eye health and it can help in preventing digital eye strain. When using digital devices, people tend to blink less frequently, which can cause dry, irritated eyes. Make a conscious effort to blink more often to help keep your eyes lubricated and reduce eye strain.
Schedule Regular Eye Tests
Regular eye exams are essential to maintaining optimal eye health, including preventing digital eye strain. Your optometrist can evaluate your eyes and provide recommendations for reducing eye strain and improving your overall eye health.