March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, a great time to focus on digital eye strain and how to reduce it. Digital eye strain is caused by the prolonged use of digital devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. As the use of digital devices has increased over the past decade, so too have reports of digital eye strain symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at what digital eye strain is and how you can prevent it.
What are the symptoms of digital eye strain?
There are many ways in which digital eye strain can manifest. Common symptoms include:
- Irritated or dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Difficulty focusing
These symptoms may occur after a few hours of using a device or may be subtle and develop over time with continued device use.
What causes digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain is typically caused by blue light emissions coming from computer and other device screens. Other causes include viewing screens at the wrong distance and angle as well as poor lighting conditions in the workspace. Over time, being too close to our screens or insufficient lighting can put additional strain on our eyes, leading to fatigue and discomfort.
How can I prevent digital eye strain?
There are several measures that you can take to reduce the risk of developing digital eye strain. Looking at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds (known as the 20-20-20 rule) will help prevent eyestrain and give your eyes a break. You should also make sure that your monitor is set up at an appropriate distance from your face (about arm’s length away), that the font size on your screen is large enough for easy reading, and that there is adequate lighting in your workspace.
Additionally, regular comprehensive eye exams will ensure early detection of any underlying conditions that could be causing or worsening your symptoms. If you wear contact lenses or eyeglasses, your eye doctor can also make sure your prescription is up to date. Using an incorrect prescription can strain your eyes throughout the day, especially if you’re using digital devices.
Digital eye strain can be uncomfortable, but you can minimize its effects by following the tips above and scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams. If you suffer from digital eye strain symptoms, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Bailey’s Crossroads, VA.