What Is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain—or computer vision syndrome—is a term used to describe a collection of uncomfortable symptoms. Viewing digital screens requires more effort from our eyes, as we follow flickering screens, squint over glare, or keep up with rapid movement. We also tend to use our devices frequently, focusing for long hours without giving our eyes a chance to rest.
Mild symptoms can go away immediately after looking away from your screen, but severe symptoms can linger, like soreness the day after an intense workout. Fortunately, digital eye strain doesn’t present any long-term vision problems, but it can make it more difficult to concentrate throughout the day.
Common symptoms of digital eye strain include:
- Blurry vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck & shoulder pain
- Sore, irritated, or tired eyes
Relieving Digital Eye Strain
When your symptoms start impacting your day, your optometrist can help. Giving up screen time in a technological age is impractical, and we want to help you thrive rather than struggle to get by.
Our optometrists will ask about your eye health history and lifestyle needs to provide you with personalized tips for dealing with digital eye strain. There are also some things you can try to make your screen time more comfortable before booking an appointment.
Give your eyes a much-needed focusing break with the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away. Changing your focal point allows your eyes to rest and reset.
Imagine completing pushups for 20 minutes straight. Then, you give your arm muscles a break to perform squats. Switching from looking at a close screen to a further distance is like switching exercises; your eyes need a break to recharge.
Adjusting Your Setup
How you view your digital screens can significantly impact your comfort, so adjust your setup with ergonomics for the eyes:
- Reduce glare: Screen glare can aggravate your eyes and increase strain. Keep your screen clean, add an anti-glare screen filter, or reposition your screen away to avoid reflecting light.
- Turn up the lights: Bright screens can make focusing more challenging. Many screens have automatic brightness settings, but you may need to adjust screen contrast or add more environmental lighting manually.
- View at arm’s length: Your monitor should be about 25 inches from your eyes (or at least arm’s length). Phones and handheld devices should also move further from your face, between 16–20 inches. Try the length of your elbow to your fingers if you’re away from a measuring tape.
Dryness is a common symptom of digital eye strain. We blink 66% less when viewing a digital screen, and blinking is how moisture spreads over the eye. Eye drops or artificial tears can provide immediate relief for minor dry eye symptoms. For more severe symptoms, dry eye therapy can help restore your eye’s moisture.
Digital eye strain is common in both adults and children. Eye discomfort can impact your quality of life. We want to help you see comfortably, whether you’re a casual browser or a dedicated computer whiz.
Visit Gresham Optical to discuss your symptoms, and we can work together to find solutions tailored to your eye care.
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Digital Eye Strain Mediation
Long hours in front of your computer or on your phone can put a strain on your eyes. Learn more about how our team can help mitigate the uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain.
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Red, irritated eyes can cause undue stress during your day. Our effective solutions help you see comfortably and clearly all day long. Discover how we can help with our dry eye therapies.
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Our doctors and staff are ready to welcome you to Gresham Optical. Our location is across from the Gresham Golf Course. Look for the red brick building on the corner of Northeast Division Street and Northeast Francis Avenue. There’s plenty of parking available, with a lot in front of the building.
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- Monday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed