Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain
Advances in technology have given us much more flexibility, efficient and entertaining way to obtain information. However, these devices have also stressed our visual system. Some common complaints I receive from our patients include:
- My eyes feel strained.
- My eyes feel tired.
- There is pressure behind my eyes.
- I have a headache.
- I am more light sensitive.
- My vision gets blurry.
- It’s harder for me to see by end of the day.
- When I look up, my vision is blurry.
- I like Netflix binges and then my eyes become red….
These are just a few symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain.
Our visual system is designed for hunting for food; looking at objects far away. As our society evolved, we are more tuned into near tasks such as reading, reading on mobile devices, tablets and looking at the computer screen at least 8 hours each day. Our eyes should work similar to an auto-focus camera with the flexibility of focusing at different range of distances. However with sustained near tasks, our focusing system is locked into this fixed distance. We also forget to blink when we are so engrossed into our near tasks. Therefore, our eyes feel strained and tired.
Since the root cause for Digital Eye Strain (and Myopia Progression) is near work associated, we recommend taking frequent breaks and follow the easily remembered rule 20/20/20; Every 20 minutes of sustained near work, look 20 feet away and take a 20 minutes break.
There are some adjustments you can make to help reduce Digital Eye Strain. Making sure that your computer monitor is positioned slightly below eye level and that the lighting in your workspace does not shine reflections on your computer screen. It is recommended to visit your eye doctor to detect if there is a prescription change or an eye condition that is causing the irritation in your eyes.
At River Oaks Family Optometry, our doctors will take a careful history, assess your visual system and eye health to assist your transition to a more comfortable work environment. We also have lenses and anti-reflective coating that will help reflect or absorb blue wavelength light. Your vision and eye health is important to us, and we want your eyes to enjoy this stressed-free digital age.