Digital Eye Strain

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Prolonged Screen Time is Hard on Your Eyes

With the prevalence of computers, phones, and tablets, It’s not surprising our eyes are becoming strained in ways they haven’t encountered before. Our eyes are highly adaptable, but too much screen time can take its toll.

Too much screen time has lead to an increase in digital eye strain (sometimes called computer vision syndrome, or CVS) in patients of all ages.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain (just like its name suggests) occurs when our eyes become strained by long hours on digital devices such as computers, smartphones, or tablets. Symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Red, tired eyes
  • Double vision
  • Eyelid twitching
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain

How Can I Prevent Digital Eye Strain?

The obvious answer is to decrease the time spent using digital devices. However, with the increased use of computers in schools, digital workspaces, and smartphones, this isn’t always possible. If you can’t easily reduce your screen time, there are other strategies you can employ to help prevent digital eye strain.

As we spend more time using digital devices, our eyes are exposed to an overload of artificial blue light that goes through the cornea and lens before reaching the retina. Because our eyes have not evolved to effectively filter this much blue light, they can become tired and strained after too much exposure. Luckily, there are special blue light filtering specialty lens coatings that can help reduce digital eye strain caused by blue light.

There are a few ergonomic adjustments you can use to help prevent neck, back, and shoulder strain. You can try:

  • Adjusting your screen brightness
  • Relying on ambient lighting (as opposed to harsh fluorescent lights)
  • Repositioning your keyboard, monitor and height of your chair and desk

Many of us spend long hours at work each day using computers and other devices. If you can’t easily cut down on your screen time, you should at least remember to take regular breaks. The Canadian Association of Optometrists suggests following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a break from your screen, and shift your gaze to an object at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. This conscious shifting allows your eye muscles to relax, reducing stress and strain, and leaving your eyes feeling more refreshed.

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Our office in Claresholm has been serving the Southern Alberta region for over twenty years. Our office is conveniently located on 49th Avenue between Roostertails Hair Salon and Willowtree Designs.

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Phone: (403) 625-4471
Fax: (403) 625-4773
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130 49 Ave West
Claresholm, AB T0L 0T0

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