Digital Eyestrain is also known as computer vision syndrome. It’s a discomfort in the eye that occurs as a result of looking at screens too long or in the wrong way.
The discomfort is caused by overexertion, it’s not a disease so can’t be transferred from one person to another. Computer vision syndrome feels similar to a mild headache, but right behind your eyes.
CAUSES OF DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
- Poor lighting. Find a level of lighting that your eyes find comfortable.
- Glare and reflection. Screen glare is a huge computer vision syndrome trigger. So are reflections from lights.
- Secret vision problems. Uncorrected vision issues cause eye strain. However, if you think your eyes are healthy but experience a lot of digital eye strain, you need to see a doctor for spectacles or lenses.
- Positioning. If the distance and angle of the screen from your eyeballs aren’t banged on, it can be a pain in the face. Keep the screen at arm’s length and in front of you (neck-turning all the time is bad).
- Bad posture. If your posture puts strain on your back, neck, or shoulders, your eyes are going to feel it sooner or later.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EYE STRAIN
There is a high chance to have computer vision syndrome especially if you have a job that involves you staring at the screen for a long time. Other causes include:
Eye strain. This presents as soreness, discomfort, and pain, or a tingling, burning sensation. It can get quite uncomfortable but isn’t extremely painful.
Headaches. Eye strain headaches are a common computer vision syndrome experience. You’ll know your headache is caused by eye strain if it’s concentrated around your eyes.
Blurred vision. When your eyes get strained, they don’t work as well. Your vision goes blurry, and you could even get black spots, floaters, or double vision.
Dry eyes. Looking at screens makes you blink less. This can make your eyes dry out.
Neck, back, and shoulder pain. The muscles that move and focus your eyes are wired into muscles and nerves in your back, neck, and shoulders. When the eye parts flare up, the rest can get stiff, sore, and achy.
DIAGNOSIS OF EYE STRAIN
- Visual acuity: It measures the quality of an individual current vision.
- Refraction: It tests the potential lens prescriptions that would optimize your vision.
- Focus and Eye Coordination: Tests on how well your eyes work together and how quickly and accurately your eyes are able to focus on objects and varying distances.
TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
- Take regular breaks
- Take regular breaks. The other tips well if you still spend too long in front of a screen.
- If your job dictates that you have to use the computer for longer than the eye nerds suggest, here are some ways you can make sure your screen time isn’t continuous:
- The 20/20/20 rule. The 20/20/20 rule is easy to remember. Look at something 20 ft away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
- A 15-minute rest every other hour. For every 2 hours of screen time, take a 15-minute break. That’s a 15-minute break every other hour. Make sure you fill these 15 minutes with some non-digital activity. Remember, it’s a break from screens, not just a break from working on them.
2) Reposition your screen
- Make sure you don’t sit close to the screen; make your sitting position about 20 to 28 inches from your eyes (arm’s length, depending on the size of your arms).
- Also, keep it about 4 to 5 inches below eye level and in a position that doesn’t mean you have to tilt your neck to look at it.
3) Blink frequently
- Blinking moisturizes your eyes. If you don’t blink, your eyes get dry, itchy, and sore.
- Make sure you remember a blink a lot to give your eyes that moisture.
4) Get that glare down
- Getting rid of glare can be done by:
- Shutting curtains or blinds to block out sunlight reflection
- Using low wattage light bulbs
- Dimming the lights
- Adding a screen glare filter to your computer.
5) Use proper eyewear
- Make sure you wear glasses or contacts of the correct prescription because eyes can’t focus properly without correct prescription and this increases the risk of both eye discomfort and headaches.
6) Fix your posture
- Posture problems increase the risk of eye strain, so fixing posture problems reduces it.
- Sit straight, ears aligned over shoulders. Don’t let your head and neck stick out.
- Relax your shoulders. Don’t hunch or slouch.
- Make sure your chair’s the right height. Place your feet flat on the floor, and keep your knees level with (or a tiny bit higher than) your hips.
- Have good back support. You should be able to relax your core and back muscles without sliding out of the chair or slouching over.
7) Eye drops
- Eye drops get rid of red-eye because they moisturize your eyes. They’re soluble lubricants specifically made to wet your looking-balls without hurting them. This stops your eyes from becoming sore and itchy.