Do you experience Chronic Digital Eye Strain?

Eye strain is common, with up to 70% of Americans experiencing the effects of eye strain. The symptoms of eye strain, though generally mild, are both uncomfortable and a major impact on workplace productivity. Most Americans spend more than two hours per day in front of a computer screen or using their smartphone. Youth are a rising demographic impacted by eye strain, as they tend to be more integrated into the use of electronics such as working on a computer or communicating on their smartphone. Digital displays exacerbate eye strain symptoms and are increasingly common in our society. Prolonged periods spent on a digital device cause fatigue in our eye focusing muscles. Because of this, reading and computer usage are both known to be major causes of eye strain. Other factors such as ergonomics, viewing distance, and ambient lighting play a big role in the development of digital eye strain.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Eye strain symptoms are often mild and also temporary. They include:

  • Eye fatigue
  • A burning or itching sensation in the eyes, even when blinking
  • Sore neck, shoulders, and upper back
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Symptoms similar to dry eye

During the exam

Dr. Jones will assess your focusing system to determine the best way to relieve your eye strain. When appropriate, she will prescribe glasses with specialized features that are designed to alleviate eyestrain caused by computers, smartphones and other devices. Behavioral changes can have a distinct impact on eye strain. Taking frequent breaks (such as getting up every hour to go to the water cooler) allows the eye a reprieve from focusing so intently, as well as introduces mobility and variation in posture. Following the 20/20/20 rule is the best way to minimize eye strain. Simply put, every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This lets the eyes and their focusing muscles recharge, delaying the onset of eye strain symptoms.