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What You Need To Know About Digital Eye Strain

07/27/2016 13:08

It’s 2016 and digital devices are running our lives. We have reached a point of no return. It seems impossible to make it through an entire day without turning to your tablet, smart phone, computer or smart watch. Why read a physical book when the digital version is cheaper? Why trudge through an encyclopedia when Siri can look it up for you? Why go to the mall when you can do your shopping on your couch wearing your pajamas? While all of these things essentially make our lives easier, they may be taking a toll on our vision.

Did you know people spend on average 8 hours and 41 minutes using media devices each day? That is more time than the average person spends sleeping every day. Due to this immense amount of time using digital devices many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing screen for prolonged periods of time.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

When we are viewing a computer or digital screen our eyes often have to work harder. This extra strain put on our eyes can lead to headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.

Viewing a digital screen is different than reading a printed page. Often the level of contrast between the letters to the background is reduced, letters are not as sharply defined, and the glare associated with digital screens may make viewing difficult.

How to Treat Digital Eye Strain?

In some cases, individuals who do not require the use of eyeglasses for other daily activities may benefit from glasses prescribed specifically for computer use. In addition, if you currently have a glasses prescription, you may find that it isn’t adequate for viewing the computer.

It is also important to remember that proper body positioning can help alleviate some symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (DES). How you use your computer is another important factor in reducing the symptoms of DES.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Most people find they are more comfortable when they are looking down toward their computer screen. Ideally, you would like your computer screen to be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level and 20 to 28 inches from your eyes.
  • The type of lighting around you is also an important factor to consider. Use blinds or drapes when possible to help decrease the amount of glare on the screen. If you frequently use a desk lamp, replace the light bulbs with bulbs of lower wattage.
  • Your chair should be comfortably padded and should conform to your body. Chair height should be set so your feet rest flat on the floor. If your chair includes arms, they should be adjusted to provide arm support while you are typing. Your wrists shouldn’t rest on the keyboard while you are typing.
  • It is important to remember the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, stare at an object that is 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. After 2 hours of continuous use, you should rest your eyes for about 15 minutes.
  • Some people notice that their eyes begin to become dry when they are working on their computer for a long period of time. To avoid getting dry eyes it is important to remember to blink. Blinking helps to keep the surface of your eyes moist.

Remember, the most important thing you can do to keep your eyes healthy is to have an annual eye exam!


Why Choose CEI?

Coastal Eye Institute (formerly Manatee Sarasota Eye Clinic) is one of the area’s largest ophthalmology practices featuring a comprehensive team of fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every subspecialty of eye care.From infancy to the golden years...we provide care for the total health of your eyes. Trust your eye care to our specialists!


Coastal Eye Institute has fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every specialty of eye care:

  • ➢ Laser Cataract Surgery
  • ➢ Glaucoma
  • ➢ Macular Degeneration
  • ➢ Diabetic Retinopathy
  • ➢ Dry Eye Disease
  • ➢ LASIK Laser Vision Correction
  • ➢ Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • ➢ Pediatric Eye Care
  • ➢ Routine Eye Care
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