Digital Eye Strain – Dr. Troy Swanson

Nearly eight out of every 10 Americans who suffer from digital eye strain use two or more devices simultaneously, according to a 2016 report by The Vision Council¹. The report, based on a survey of more than 10,000 adults, finds that 65 percent of Americans experience digital eye strain symptoms, such as dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, neck and back pain and headaches.

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain is the physical discomfort felt after two or more hours in front of a digital screen and is associated with the close to mid-range distance of digital screens, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, e-readers and smartphones. Prolonged periods of use appear to exacerbate symptoms of eye strain as 96 percent of Americans who experience digital eye strain spend two or more hours each day using devices. A combination of factors promote the onset of digital eye strain, including how close you are to the screen, how long and how often you use digital devices, and the degree of exposure to high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light emitted by video screens.

What can you do about digital eye strain?

There are several ways to help reduce the amount of eye strain you experience when on electronic devices.

  • The “20/20/20” rule – For every 20 minutes that you are on an electronic device, take a 20 second break and look at something at least 20 feet away. Doing this will give your eyes a quick but much-needed rest from constantly focusing at a computer screen. This is a simple, yet very effective way to minimize eye strain.
  • Glasses that block blue light – As all of our electronic devices emit blue light that can be harmful to our vision, it’s beneficial to have glasses that filter out some of the specific wavelengths of blue light that are most damaging. Specific anti-reflective coatings, such as Crizal® Prevencia™, are offered at MyEyes Optometry and can help reduce eye fatigue associated with electronic use.
  • Glasses that relax your focusing – At MyEyes Optometry, we offer specific lenses designed to reduce the eyestrain on electronics by giving a little boost at near to help relax the eyes. Lenses such as Essilor® Anti-Fatigue™ and Eyezen™ lenses. Even if you don’t need distance correction, these glasses can still be helpful when spending long hours on your computer. These glasses can even be worn over contact lenses if you usually use those more than glasses!

We live in an age of constant exposure to electronics which will only increase as technology continues to develop. Digital eye strain will continue to be an issue that needs to be dealt with, but fortunately we now have ways to combat it. If you’re experiencing any of these problems discussed, schedule an appointment today with MyEyes Optometry and we’d love to go over the options that are perfect for you!


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