Screens have become an inescapable part of modern life. Unless you printed this blog out, you’re reading it on a screen right now. From tablets to televisions and smartphones to laptops, it’s easy to spend the majority of the day (at work or at home) with your eyes glued to a screen. From an entertainment and accessibility standpoint, it’s great! It’s less great, however, for your eyes. Digital Eye Strain (also known as Computer Vision Syndrome) can occur from too much screen time. What can you do about it? Read on:
What’s wrong with screens?
Many times, Digital Eye Strain isn’t caused by screens alone. It’s your viewing habits that can cause discomfort. For example, sitting too closely to a screen can hurt your eyes. The lighting in the room matters: it can cause your eyes to exert too much effort into seeing clearly. How you’re sitting can even play a role. If your posture is bad, that can cause neck pain, headaches, and other issues that can mess with your vision. It’s important to be cognizant of these factors and make sure that you’re using good posture, have ample light, and are sitting far enough away from the screen during use.
What are the symptoms?
How do you know when Digital Eye Strain has become a problem? You’ll feel it! Symptoms aren’t consistent and different people may experience different symptoms. But the overall effect is the same: distressed eyes after prolonged screen use. You might experience blurred vision. You might have dry eyes. You might experience frequent headaches after long screen sessions. Whatever symptoms you experience, you’ll notice that your eyes feel strained and tired. It can feel like your eyes have been overworked. If you notice any of the above, you could have Digital Eye Strain.
What you can do:
Keep lighting, distance, and posture in mind. Evaluate your work station or your TV room. Is your seat far enough away? Is the screen eye-level or are you hunched over when viewing it? Is there enough natural light to offset some of the harsher light that screens emit? Being mindful of your screen-viewing conditions is the first thing you can do to combat Computer Vision Syndrome. The second is taking frequent breaks. Try using the 20-20-20 rule. The third and final strategy in fighting back against Digital Eye Strain is practicing good eye care! That includes a healthy diet, lots of sleep, and a yearly visit to your optometrist. Don’t hesitate to set an appointment with your eye doctor is you’re experiencing discomfort.