Digital Eye Strain: Symptoms and Treatment
Digital eye strain or so-called computer vision syndrome (CVS) is one of the common problems that majority of us suffer, but continue to ignore. Let’s see what might happen if you continue to be reckless to your eye condition.
With so many of us working at the computer these days, there is no wonder that digital eye strain has become such a widespread problem. If we are no sat on or computer for work, we are checking social media on our phones, all adding to the digital eye strain problem.
Medically, digital eye strain is described as a temporary discomfort that follows two or more hours of digital device usage. Any of your devices can cause eye strain particularly, desktop and laptop computers, televisions, phones, e-readers, and tablets. When we switch from one device to another throughout the day without taking a break, we are prone to the discomfort of digital eye strain.
What are the symptoms of digital eye strain?
The Vision Council reports that nowadays more than 59% of adults experience symptoms of digital eye strain. The most common symptoms of digital eye strain are red, dry and irritated eyes. You may find yourself with watery painful eyes that can even result in blurred vision. You will temporarily experience eye fatigue that doesn’t allow you to work properly. Sometimes it happens that not taking actions on time leads to hypersensitivity to light or photophobia.
On top of that, you could suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain as well as headaches. All of these symptoms may be caused by sitting too close to the screen and glaring on screen without a break. Moreover, poor lighting, improper posture, vision problems or several of them can be causes. The symptoms may vary from person to person depending on vision abilities and hours spend in front of digital screen. Also, condition gets worse if the person had before some kind of vision problems.
Sometimes eye strain will decline after having some rest. It’s a temporary condition that will disappear after stopping using digital device. However, some people experience continuous eye strain even after having a rest. That means eyes are in a bad condition and not to get immediate treatment may lead to serious eye problems.
Do digital devices cause digital eye strain?
Typically when we are reading on a device we are looking at small text and pixel images that can be challenging for our eyes to focus on. If you are reading something on a device from an unusual angle then you may be worsening this issue, as your eyes struggle to focus on what you are reading. Another cause of eye strain is the blue light that our devices emit, also known as high-energy visible light (HEV).
Besides that majority people used to use their cell phones or tablet in a lying position. Before getting sleep we used to check social network accounts, watch some videos or browse the internet lying down on the bed. Cell phones also emit light as harmful as computer does. We complicate our life by ourselves. After a long working day instead of giving some rest to our eyes we strain them even more by getting stuck in our phones. It is clear that computer and cell phone have already become a crucial part of the modern world. However, we shouldn’t forget that nothing can replace of health.
Digital eye strain. Impact on children.
According to the research of the Vision Council for 23% of children playing on a digital device is the most interesting activity to be engaged in and for 20% it is watching TV. In fact, impact of digital eye strain on children doesn’t differ that much from impact on adults. Children also will suffer from headache, shoulder and neck pain, eye dryness and irritated eyes. Additionally, spending a lot of time glaring on digital screen leads to reduced attention span. Children of school age become less attentive during classes and may experience memory impairment. This will also influence their behavior, causing irritability and impatience.
How do I treat digital eye strain?
Here are some easy steps to reduce the risk of digital eye strain:
1. Eye-wear for digital eye strain.
For those who spend several hours in front of the screen the best treatment is using computer glasses. These glasses are specifically prescribed for computer use and you don’t need them in daily activities. Computer glasses have blue light-filtering and anti-reflective capabilities, so they reduce harmful blue light emitted from devices.
2. Blink more often.
Blinking more while using digital device helps to prevent eye dryness and eye irritability. Usually when we work on computer we blink less than usual, as a result tears on the eye surface evaporate faster and you experience eye dryness. Therefore, try to blink more or ask the eye doctor about eye drops.
3. Use proper lighting.
Working in a dark or excessively bright room also can worsen eye strain. It is uncomfortable to work under intensive sunlight through the window or bright indoor light. During day time you may block harsh sunlight with drapes or blinds. As for interior lighting, replace bulbs or fluorescent tubes with lower intensity ones.
4. Eye exercises for digital eye strain.
From time to time in the office or at home exercise your eyes to ease the eye strain. One exercise is look at distant object for 15 seconds then look at something that is close to you for 15 seconds. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times. Another exercise is every half an hour very slowly close and open your eyes 10 times. This exercise prevents eyes getting dry and irritating.
5. Visit an eye doctor.
To diagnose a digital eye strain carrying out an eye examination is inevitable. At least once a year visit an ophthalmologist to examine and check your eye condition. The doctor will examine eyes with special instruments to test vision acuity and eye focus. Then depending on how often you use computer or other digital devices and where you work doctor will give you advice on treatment.
How to use digital devices not to harm eyes?
Digital eye strain can be prevented by following proper techniques for using digital devices. Of course, limiting your device use would be the best option, but it can be hard to do this when many people’s full-time jobs involve computer usage. Pay attention to your body and its reaction to using a digital device for a long time. It may help to follow the 20/20/20 rule. You need to focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds after 20 minutes of looking at a screen. This can help to recalibrate your eyes and give them a rest from the bright light.
Additionally, computer “eyegonomics” is important, that is, the viewing angles of your eyes in relation to the screen. Make sure that the top of the monitor is approximately at eye level. The monitor is flat without tilt and viewing distance is about an arm-length away. Trying not to slouch can also help with physical problems, such as back issues, related to prolonged device usage.
Other tips are to reduce the glare on your screen by playing around with your device’s brightness settings. Changing the background from a bright white to a cooler grey can reduce the contrast that your eye has to deal with. Cleaning your screen as well can help, as your eyes may focus on dirt and smears on the screen, aggravating this condition.
Overall, following these tips should allow you to have a more comfortable experience free from eye strain.
7 Tips for Eye Health
Eyesight is undeniably one of our most important senses. Every person who has had a problem with eyes in their life, consciously appreciates it. Thanks to our eyes, we can not only enjoy the beauty of the world but also avoid hurting ourselves in the space surrounding us.
Vision is considered one of the most valuable human senses, because it provides the brain with up to 80% of information from the surrounding world. However our eyes are very sensitive, easily tiring and requiring special attention and care.
Here are top 7 suggestions on how to protect your eyes:
1. Do monitors/screens make your eyesight worse?
Computer monitors and TV do not necessarily harm your eyes. However staring at a screen all day long will definitely strain and tire your eyes.
Make sure that the distance between your eyes and the monitor is about 50-60 cm. Adgust the light, so that is does not create a glare on the screen.
While working at the computer, periodically, close your eyes for 5 seconds. It will help moisturize them better. Every 10 minutes, take your eyes off the monitor and move your sight to distant objects to ease the accumulative tension.
It’s always a good idea to rest your eyes briefly every hour or so to lessen eye fatigue. Give your eyes a break, for example, go for a walk.
2. Does smoking and passive smoking affect our eyes ?
In fact, smokers are four times more likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than non-smokers. The passive smoking is also harmful to the eyes. Tobacco smoke is one of the most dangerous environmental factors.
Moreover, air pollution may also be dangerous for your eyes: smog and dust in the air, chlorine, and even chemicals in cosmetics may hurt eyes.
Weather conditions – dry and cold climate may irritate the eye conjunctiva as well, and make your eye dry and uncomfortable.
3. Is reading bad for your eyes?
You probably have already heard the myth that reading too much can worsen your vision. That is not true. Reading itself does not affect your eyesight, although, reading in poor dim lighting will absolutely tire and stress your eyes.
Home and office rooms should be adequately lit. Natural light is ideal. However, sometimes, we can use artificial light, but make sure that it is too intense or too weak. In places where we read or work, it is worth setting an additional light point – a standing lamp, a sconce or a desk lamp. The best way to position a reading light is to have it shine directly onto the page, not over your shoulder, so that it does not cause a glare.
4. Does wearing prescription glasses make eyesight worse?
Do not experiment with your eyes. If you notice that your eyes are working less efficiently, that you cannot see closely, or do not look as far as before – report to an ophthalmologist. Do not borrow glasses from your friends, do not buy ready glasses for long or short-sighted in pharmacies, and even more in the bazaars.
Let the doctor examine eyes and prescribe appropriate glasses, and the optician will choose the right binding. Professional selection of glasses is extremely important. Visit an eye doctor once a year.
Some people think that wearing glasses all the time will harm the eyesight. The truth is that it’s best to wear glasses if you need them. Attempting to read without reading glasses if you cannot see the text well, will strain your eyes and tire them out. In fact, using properly prescribed glasses won’t worsen your vision or lead to any eye disease.
5. Does UV light hurt your eyes?
Harmful ultraviolet rays create free radicals that damage the skin and eyes. Wearing sunglasses and hats is important for people of any age. Only sunglasses with good filters and an appropriate certificate will effectively protect your eyes from UV radiation.
Try to buy good, designed to protect from the UV light glasses. It will be a valuable investment in the health of your eyes. Remember to protect your eyes not only in sunny summer, but also in winter and ideally all year around. Even solar rays on cloudy days can be dangerous.
6. Tips for eye health. What is the best food for your eyes?
Does eating carrots make your eyesight better? In fact, it does. Carrots contain Vitamin A, that is very good for your eye health.
However, many other vegetables and fruits, especially dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, arugula and kale are the best for eye health, because they contain powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C and E. Antioxidant vitamins protect your eyes against cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Also, antioxidants from the carotenoid group – orange vegetables, are essential to the eye health.
You can also take supplement to support your eye health and prevent or correct basic vision problems.
7. Tips for eye health. Listen to your body
Check and control your blood pressure, blood cholesterol and sugar (glucose). The eye is a very sensitive organ that can suffer from various abnormalities in the functioning of the body. Therefore, caring for the heart, circulatory system, kidneys or lipid metabolism – indirectly takes care of our eyesight.
Another best thing you can do is to actually take time and learn about eyes, the eye aging process, potential risks and symptoms.
Our eyes are priceless and no matter what age you are, you should take care of your eyes to be able to enjoy this colorful life longer.