Digital Eye Strain Syndrome
Digital Eye Strain Syndrome

Author - Anna Tan (Optometrist)

Are long hours on the computer giving you digital eye strain? You’re not alone!

Digital eye strain syndrome, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a common diagnosis nowadays as many of us use digital devices for protracted periods of time. In fact, the average individual spends around 8 - 12 hours with screens on a daily basis, whether it is working with computers or for leisure on their tablets and smartphones. Extended screen use can lead to symptoms such as eye strain and fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes.  Unlike specific digital eye strain drops, there are certain other eyedrops solutions available to treat dry eyes. 

So what can we do about this? Try the following tips to improve your comfort on the computer:

  • Rest breaks - follow the 20/20/20 rule. Simply put, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. By looking into the distance (whether it is an object, down the hall or out a window), you are giving your eyes a chance to relax and refocus, leading to less eye fatigue at the end of the day. 

  • Make sure your computer is at least arm's length from your seat. The closer you are to the monitor the harder your eyes will have to work to keep things in focus. Therefore, a longer working distance will naturally be more comfortable for your eyes.

  • Position your computer screen about 15 degrees below eye level. By doing this, your eyelids will be able to partially drop over your eyes, leading to less dryness at the end of the day.

  • Glasses - depending on your work environment, your eyes could be suffering from excessive glare. Anti-reflective lens coating can help minimize light bounce-back from computer screens and around in the workplace. Blue-light blocking lenses can help increase viewing comfort by enhancing the contrast on screens and cutting out even more glare. Special ‘anti-fatigue’ computer lenses may also be prescribed by your optometrist, which allow your eye muscles to relax and ensure that they are not over-focusing. 

And lastly, have your eyes checked at your optometrist, even if you have never needed glasses before in the past. Even a small refractive error can lead to major eyestrain and fatigue at the computer. Regular eye examinations are also very important to make sure your eyes stay happy and healthy!

By Anna Tan. 

Optometrist at 1001 Optical. 

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