Eyes on the Screen
Digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome is an exhaustion of the visual system caused by too much screen time. The eye condition includes a group of symptoms that impact your vision and ocular health.
When your visual system feels drained, it can make small tasks more difficult and could lead to serious eye problems. Long-term digital eye strain can increase your risk for cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal problems, and sleep disorders.
Most of us love our tech, but we also appreciate balance. If you’re ready to talk about symptoms caused by digital eye strain, book an appointment at Pacific Pier Optometry. We promise we won’t judge. (We might even use digital screens during our appointment.)
Why Worry About Computer Vision?
Screen time is inseparable from our everyday routines, whether we love it or not. Computers, tablets, e-readers, and other digital screens are integral in our work and play. There’s a lot to like about the digital world, which is why we use it so much.
You don’t need to give it all up to protect your vision. Instead, it’s about balance. In most cases, digital eye strain occurs because we’ve overtaxed our visual system. Taking a break is easy advice to give, but it can be hard to carry out.
If you engage in computer or screen activities for long periods, you increase your risk for the symptoms of digital eye strain:
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Burning or irritation
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
Stopping Digital Eye Strain
There isn’t a perfect cure to stop digital eye strain, but you can prevent and treat the symptoms.
You might have heard about the 20-20-20 rule. It’s a guideline for adjusting your behavior around digital screens to decrease impacts on your vision and health.
For every 20 minutes in front of a digital screen, you should look away for 20 seconds at an object 20 feet from you. It’s a simple eye exercise for resetting your ocular system, giving you regular breaks from intense visual activity.
You might use it as a water break or a stretch break, which can be helpful for your overall health. For example, a good stretch break can improve posture, decreasing your risk of sitting too close to your screen.
Sitting further away (at least 25 inches) from your screen is just one of many ways you can prevent digital eye strain. Other options for alleviating symptoms include:
- Using a humidifier
- Apply artificial tears
- Blink more frequently
- Use a matte screen filter to reduce glare
- Take 15-minute breaks after 2 hours of screen time
- Adjust screen lighting and contrast to match room lighting
- Clean your screen (fingerprints and debris may increase eye strain)
- Removing contact lenses during screen breaks
If your symptoms are increasing or you need a break from digital eye strain, talk to your eye care team.
Take a Computer Break to Visit Pacific Pier Optometry
If you’re struggling with digital eye strain, we’re here to help. Regular eye exams can help you keep an eye on your ocular health and vision. The more we get to know you (and your eyes), the better our insight into your symptoms and solutions.
We can work together to find management options. Visit your optometrist at Pacific Pier Optometry today.
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- 1431 7th Street Ste 101
- Santa Monica, CA 90401
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Saturday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
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