March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and it’s the perfect time to think about how to take better care of your eyes. Too much screen time is a common issue in this digital age, and it can cause digital eye strain in many people. Digital eye strain is a condition that results from prolonged exposure to computers and other digital devices. Let’s look at what digital eye strain is, its symptoms, causes, prevention tips, and why regular eye exams are important.
What is digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain (DES) is a group of vision and eye-related symptoms caused by the extended use of digital devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones. It can lead to symptoms such as dry eyes, blurry vision, headaches, fatigue, and neck or shoulder pain. It is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of people who use digital devices experience some degree of DES during their lifetime.
Common causes of digital eye strain
The most common cause of digital eye strain is prolonged exposure to blue light from digital screens; this light can be damaging to delicate eye tissues. Other factors that can contribute to DES include:
- Sitting too close to a screen for long periods of time
- Having poor posture while using a device
- Poor lighting
- Glare from an LED monitor or laptop screen
Additionally, people with uncorrected vision problems such as astigmatism and farsightedness may be more susceptible to DES. These conditions cause individuals to squint or strain their eyes when viewing a screen, leading to digital eye strain.
Preventing digital eye strain
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing digital eye strain:
- Take frequent breaks from devices: look away every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Increase text size on screens.
- Use anti-glare filters on devices.
- Make sure the lighting in the room isn’t too bright or too dim.
- Invest in computer glasses with lenses that filter out blue light.
- Visit your optometrist regularly for an eye exam.
Why regular eye exams are important
Regular eye exams are an important part of preventive health care for everyone, even if you don’t wear corrective lenses. Regular exams help detect potential problems early so they can be treated before they cause permanent damage. Moreover, if you wear corrective lenses, regular checkups ensure that your prescription remains current so that you can see devices clearly.
While March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, taking care of our eyes should always be a priority! If you’re experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain, contact us today to schedule an exam at a Pathway Eye location near you. Our eye doctors can thoroughly examine your eyes and discuss the best ways to prevent this condition.