Digital Eye Strain
Do you get sore and tired eyes and headaches? How about dry/itchy/burning eyes?
Do you spend all day on computers, tablets and smart phones at work, then come home to spend more time on computer, tablets and smart phones?
Do you visit your technology more than you visit own grandmother??
Chances are you are one of the 65% of Australians who experience digital eye strain on a daily basis! If you are using more than one device, that goes up to 75% of people experiencing eye strain.*
What is it?
We simply weren’t designed to spend all day looking at digital devices. This constant staring at a close distance for long periods means we don’t move our eyes or blink as frequently as when we are doing non-screen based activities. This relatively new phenomenon has now been termed “ Digital Eye Strain”
No one has ever complained of tired eyes after taking their dog for a walk. But a large proportion of people are complaining of tired sore/dry eyes after extended periods staring at screens.
Digital Eye Strain is caused by the eyes having to focus more intensely and for longer durations on digital devices. Smart phones have further increased the visual demand, as we tend to hold them even closer due to their small size. Digital devices often have bright backlighting and emit blue-violet light that can cause strain and discomfort and is linked to disrupted sleeping patterns.
Focus fatigue is not the only cause…
The normal blinking rate is often reduced from 17 or more blinks a minute to 12 to 15 blinks, reducing tear production, making your eyes feel dry and uncomfortable.** (find out more about dry eye here)
Our posture has changed as we lean toward our screens and/or slouch in our chairs, putting a strain on the neck and back.*
What can you do about it?
The obvious answer is to look around more and get outdoors for a break from screens when you can.
Unfortunately this is not always an option so the good news is that in response to our changing visual environment, new and innovative lens technology can help to alleviate digital eye strain by eliminating glare, filtering out blue light and preventing vision fatigue. These innovations cater to both prescription and non-prescription wearers affected by digital eye strain, and are designed to relax and protect your eyes by providing clear viewing at typical screen viewing distance, as well as reducing blur, pixelation, brightness and glare. Both glasses and non-glasses wearers can benefit from lenses tailored for digital devices. These lenses will not only combat eye strain, but likely deliver postural benefits as your focus will be optimised for close up and screen viewing.
Your Digital Vision Needs
Understanding the demands of digital device usage on your eyes is just one of the aspects we will discuss with you as part of our 360° comprehensive eye consultation. Knowing how much time you spend in front of digital screens, the setup of your digital environment and the type of work you do, allows us to prescribe a tailored digital vision solution for you.
Tips to Reduce Digital Eye Strain –
Remember to blink often (link to blinking app)
Take breaks from staring at your digital screen
Use the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes in front of a digital device, take a 20 second break and look at objects 20 feet (7 metres) away
Adjust the display settings of your devices - Wear glasses designed for digital device use ^
Get outdoors more. Remember no one gets eyestrain walking the dog!
Australia: The Digital Media Nation, McCrindle Research, August 2013 *
Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma, 2016
Digital Eye Strain Report, The Vision Council, US
Computer Vision Syndrome Affects Millions, J. Brody, NY Times May, 2016