Many of us are spending more time on our devices than ever before, and if your job or schooling requires you to sit in front of a computer screen all day, you may have experienced symptoms of digital eye strain. But what is this condition, what causes it, and how can we prevent it?

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a group of eye issues that arise due to prolonged screen time, and their effects typically increase with the amount of digital screen viewing we do in a day.

Symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dry eyes and blurry vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Your symptoms may be stronger if you have longstanding or uncorrected eye issues such as presbyopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism.

What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

The name computer vision syndrome alone tells us that eye strain is caused by computers and other devices. Though in theory it may seem just as easy to read from your laptop or computer monitor as from a printed piece of paper, it’s not quite the same. When reading from a digital screen, different brightness levels, different colors, and different shapes all force your eyes to rapidly change their focus.

All in all, reading from a digital screen is a highly stressful task for your eyes that didn’t exist just a few decades ago — and now we do it all the time. Consequently, this stress can cause serious discomfort if not managed.

Digital Eye Strain Relief

Your eyes need rest, just like any other muscles you exercise, so the simplest way to reduce digital eye strain would be to reduce your screen time; but that’s not an option for everyone, especially those with work or school obligations. Luckily, there are other ways to relieve the effects of computer vision syndrome.

Many experts recommend using the 20/20/20 rule if you’re staring at a screen for long periods of time. This means looking at an object about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds at a time, every 20 minutes or so. And remember to blink, because blinking spreads tears across your eyes, preventing them from drying out.

As far as digital eye strain treatment goes, you can also opt for blue light filtering lenses in your next pair of glasses — no vision prescription required! Request an appointment at Vision Pro Optical today to learn more about alleviating the effects of computer vision syndrome.