Digital devices are increasingly ubiquitous in the U.S. Recent studies have shown 89 percent of mobile internet users are online daily, and 31 percent are online “almost constantly.”1 Evidence suggests digital eye strain, which includes symptoms such as dry eyes, blurry vision and eye fatigue, is becoming more common because of prolonged digital device usage.

Symptoms of digital eye strain aren’t often permanent, but they’re uncomfortable and increasingly common – about 60 percent of Americans report experiencing digital eye strain symptoms.2 These symptoms can also interrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and a number of secondary symptoms stemming from lack of sleep.

What Causes Digital Eye Strain?

Eye strain can cause fatigue and headaches. Edina Eye PhysiciansFactors like posture, font size and overexposure to blue light all play a role in digital eye strain. Perhaps the biggest cause, however, is less frequent blinking – the blink rate while using digital devices is reduced by as much as 66 percent. That’s about five blinks per minute instead of the usual 15.3

The distance between screen and eyes is also important. Focusing on something that’s less than two feet from your face is like continually flexing your eye muscles – just as flexing your bicep tires your arm after several minutes, focusing on a screen near your face fatigues your eyes considerably.

 

 

Tips for Minimizing Digital Eye Strain Symptoms

For many people, using laptops and desktop computers is required for their job, making prolonged exposure to screens unavoidable. Rather than eliminating screens altogether, it’s recommended people try practicing these tips for minimizing digital eye strain.

Reduce Blue Light – There are several ways to reduce blue light exposure. One easy solution is wearing computer glasses that filter blue light emitted from digital devices. They’re surprisingly stylish and you don’t need a prescription to wear them.

Apps That Limit Blue Light – Depending on your device, you may be able to reduce the blue light coming from your screen using an app. For example, Apple’s Night Shift setting changes the device backlight to a warmer tone to reduce blue light exposure. For Windows users, the F.lux app provides a similar effect (F.lux is also available for iOS).

Reposition Your Work Space and Posture – It’s important to correctly position yourself and your monitor to The 20 - 20 rule. Rest your eyes for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Edina Eye consultants and optic experts.minimize eye strain. Try centering your monitor at an arm’s length from your face and positioning it so there’s as little glare on the screen as possible. Remember to sit up and limit overhead light as much as possible.

Try the 20-20-20 Rule – Keep this rule in mind whenever you’re using a digital device for an extended amount of time – every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something at least 20 feet away. This will help keep your eyes from drying and straining.

Limit Screen Time – Reducing time spent on phones or tablets is an easy way to cut back on blue light and unnecessary eye strain. Eye strain symptoms typically begin to develop after two hours of continuous use, so try limiting your family’s digital device usage to an hour or less at a time.

Computer glasses in addition to the right distance for viewing computer can help ease headaches. Edina Eye can help you!Adjust Your Screens – You may find adjusting your screen brightness to be an easy solution. In general, white backgrounds should be a cooler grey and the screen contrast should be lower in comparison to your surroundings. Another option is to change the font size so you’re not having to squint or focus as much.

Schedule a Routine Eye Appointment to Protect Your Eye Health

In addition to employing these useful tips, take care of your eyes by scheduling a routine appointment with the caring staff at Edina Eye Physicians. Our vision professionals and ophthalmologists can diagnose any potential vision problems and make expert recommendations so you can keep seeing clearly.

Call Edina Eye Physicians at 952-832-8100 today or visit us online to schedule your appointment.

1 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/14/about-a-quarter-of-americans-report-going-online-almost-constantly/

2 https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/content/digital-eye-strain

3 https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/computer-usage