Also known as computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain is becoming an issue for adults and children alike. Whether you’re working from home or at an office on a computer,  glued to your smartphone, or binge-watching your favorite shows, the average adult, and child, spends the majority of their waking hours looking at a digital device. 

Understanding Eye Strain:

Eye strain, also known as asthenopia, is often a result of extended and intense use of the eyes. Common causes include prolonged screen time, reading in inadequate lighting, improper ergonomics, and uncorrected vision problems.

Recognizing the signs of eye strain is crucial for timely intervention. Symptoms may include:

    • Eye Discomfort: Aching, burning, or itching sensations in and around the eyes.

    • Headaches: Persistent headaches, especially after prolonged visual tasks.

    • Blurred Vision: Difficulty focusing or temporary blurriness.

    • Dry Eyes: Feeling of dryness or irritation.

    • Increased Light Sensitivity: Heightened sensitivity to light, especially artificial lighting.

Who is at Risk for Digital Eye Strain? 

Anyone who uses a digital device in their daily like is at risk for digital eye strain/ computer vision syndrome. This includes children who are using digital devices in school for learning and at home for entertainment. Adults who work on a computer including pediatricians, dentists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, real estate agents, accountants, marketers, and even social media influencers

Prevention and Solutions:

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule:

    • Incorporate the 20-20-20 rule into your screen time routine. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to give your eyes a much-needed break.

Optimize Workspace Ergonomics:

    • Ensure proper ergonomics in your workspace. Position your computer screen at eye level, maintain a comfortable viewing distance, and use an anti-glare screen if needed.

Good Lighting is Key:

    • Read and work in well-lit environments. Avoid glare from windows or overhead lights, and consider using task lighting to reduce eye strain.

Corrective Lenses:

    • If you have refractive errors, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, ensure your prescription is up-to-date. Uncorrected vision problems can contribute significantly to eye strain.

Blink Regularly:

    • Remember to blink consciously, especially during screen use. Blinking helps moisten the eyes and reduce dryness.

Stay Hydrated:

    • Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining overall eye health. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to prevent dry eyes.

Digital Device Filters:

    • Consider using blue light filters on your devices or invest in glasses with blue light protection. This can help reduce eye strain associated with prolonged screen exposure.

Seeking Professional Help:

If eye strain persists despite these preventive measures, it’s essential to consult with an eye care professional. Regular eye exams can uncover underlying issues and ensure the overall health of your eyes.

Conclusion:

Prioritizing eye health in today’s technology-driven world is more important than ever. By understanding the causes, recognizing symptoms, and implementing practical solutions, you can combat eye strain and foster a healthier visual experience. Remember, your eyes are your windows to the world – treat them with the care they deserve.

Need more help? Schedule an eye exam with Santa Monica Optometrist, Dr. Yakubin

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