Technology has changed our world. Nearly all of us make use of some sort of digital device. One study reveals that one-third of Americans spend 9 or more hours using digital devices. Unfortunately, this has led to an increasing health concern—digital eye strain. If you are a user of a PC, smartphone, TV, video game, or tablet, you are susceptible to this condition. Plaza Vision Optometry is actively educating our patients and community throughout Monrovia on how to protect their eyes from this ailment.
Digital Eye Strain Symptoms
While light strains periodically are to expected when using a digital device for hours on end, there are other discomforts that may arise. These can signify more pronounced underlying issues. Some of our patients have complained of the following additional symptoms:
- Headaches (even growing into migraines)
- Extremely dry eyes
- Blurry vision
- Seeing colorful spots
- Neck & shoulder muscular pain & soreness
Why Does Eye Strain Happen?
Eyes strain results from a combination of several factors. First, when we stare at a screen, we tend to blink much less than normally. Typically, our eyes blink about 18 times per minute (when not engaged with a digitized screen.) This simple function helps to preserve our eye moisture. When blinking is less frequent, we can suffer from burning, dry, or itchy eyes.
Another factor is ergonomics and body posture. The height of the screen we are viewing in relation to our sitting position, the angle of our neck, and distance from the screen all play a role in eye strain. It is why we naturally avoid the first row of a movie theater. The angle of the screen coupled with its distance causes eye strain.
How To Avoid Digital Eye Strain
Never use a digital device again! Okay…since that is not going to happen, practice good posture and moderation. Also, try the following tips:
- Grab a pair of computer glasses. They filter out harmful blue light and reduce screen glare.
- Try taking a 20-20-20. Three times in an hour or screen viewing take a 20-second break to look at an object that is at least 20 feet away.
- Force yourself to blink more often.