As our world has become increasingly digital, one of the most common concerns for eye care professionals is digital eye strain. March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month and it’s the perfect time to learn about what digital eye strain is, its symptoms, its common causes, and how to prevent it. Read on to learn all about this condition and how you can protect your vision.
What is digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain (DES) is a group of eye and vision-related problems caused by staring at screens for long periods. Symptoms can include red, itchy eyes, fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck/shoulder pain.
Common causes of digital eye strain
The two main culprits behind digital eye strain are blue light emissions from electronic devices and extreme near-point viewing distances (the distance between your eyes and the computer screen). When you look at a computer screen for extended periods without taking breaks, your blink rate decreases significantly, leading to dry eyes. Other causes include poor lighting, bad posture, and glare from an LED monitor or computer screen.
How to prevent digital eye strain
The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce or prevent DES. Start by following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break away from your screen to look at something at least 20 feet away from you. Additionally, adjust your display settings so that they have less contrast and brightness than usual to help reduce glare from the screen. If possible, set up an ergonomic workstation with an adjustable chair and desk height so that you maintain good posture throughout the day.
Finally, make sure you get regular comprehensive eye exams even if you don’t feel any discomfort. During an eye exam, your eye doctor can diagnose digital eye strain as well as other conditions that could be worsening your symptoms. They will then work with you to develop a treatment plan that best fits your needs.
It’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to taking care of your eyes! If you’re experiencing symptoms like dry, itchy eyes or headaches, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Decatur, AL.