Modern life has us constantly in front of screens. Whether it’s your phone, tablet, TV, or computer, there is always some type of digital screen within reach. This over-exposure to the LED backlighting of digital displays can be damaging over time to our eyes and leads to digital eye strain. Learning the symptoms of digital eye strain can help you take steps to counter the effects and protect the long-term health of your eyes.
Knowing the signs:
Sore, Tired, Red Eyes
One of the first signs of digital eye strain is that your eyes will feel dry, irritated, and tired. You’re probably very familiar with this symptom. After a long day at work your eyes itch, maybe they even look red. This problem occurs because we do not blink properly when looking at screens and over the course of a day, the eyes become dry and sore from a lack of tears
The next symptom is headaches. You know the ones. They usually start behind your eyes and radiate back through your head. The straining muscles in your eyes cause this headache.
Often the headaches will continue to worsen throughout the day, and you may end up experiencing neck and shoulder pain. Usually, this problem occurs because of incorrect posture from sitting at a computer for long hours, but it can also come from looking down at a phone or tablet for too long.
Dry eyes and headaches can lead to blurred or double vision. This symptom typically presents itself after many hours of digital screen exposure, and it can make it difficult to continue working effectively.
When you’re experiencing all of the above symptoms of digital eye strain, it’s easy to understand why the last sign is an increased difficulty concentrating. Tired eyes that cause blurred vision and a headache that radiates from behind your eyes down through your shoulders will throw anyone off their game.
Treating the Signs
So what can you do to combat the signs of digital eye strain? As it turns out, treatment is easier than you might have thought!
The easiest way to fight the signs is by taking frequent breaks. Get up and grab a cup of coffee, take a quick stroll around the office, or focus on something far away for a few minutes instead of your screen. A good rule of thumb is to take a 20-second break every 10 minutes and a 20-minute break every 2 hours.
Change Your Settings
As we’ve become more aware of digital eye strain, most devices come equipped with settings to help relieve some of the damaging effects of over-exposure. Check your phone, tablet, and computer for an “easy-eye” or “blue light” setting.
As mentioned above, 20-second breaks every 10 minutes can work wonders for your eyes. Take that time to concentrate on blinking more frequently and longer to help remoisten your eyes with tears. You can also roll your eyes to help relieve the stress on the eye muscles. Additionally, stretching your arms and back, and rolling your neck and shoulders can fight off headaches and neck/shoulder pain.
One of the most effective ways to combat digital eye strain is the use of computer glasses. These specialized glasses are customized to your prescription so that you get the most precise vision at the specific distance to your device. Computer glasses also feature blue light filters that can help reduce the risks of over-exposure and relief the feeling of tired eyes. You can even get non-prescription computer glasses that help relax your eyes in front of the screen.
If you’re ready to start finding relief from the symptoms of digital eye strain, then contact Jarvis Vision Center today. Our team will help you to find the perfect solution for your life.