Do you experience headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, excessive tearing, light sensitivity or neck and shoulder pain? If you answered yes to 2 or more of these symptoms you may be suffering from Digital Eye Strain.
DES is a group of eye and vision related symptoms associated with prolonged screen time for both adults and children.
Here are a few tips which can help alleviate Digital Eye Strain:
- Correct any underlying vision problems.
Uncorrected vision problems contribute to headaches and eye strain. Visit your optometrist annually to ensure you are wearing an updated prescription.
- Perform blinking exercises and practice the 20-20-20 rule.
Prolonged screen time may result in a reduced blink rate, thus leading to dry eyes. Minimize your risk of developing dry eyes by taking frequent breaks during the workday and practicing the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes of looking at a digital screen, look at objects 20ft (6m) away for 20 seconds.
- Use artificial tears to help alleviate symptoms of dry eye.
If you’re still noticing issues with dry eye symptoms even after taking frequent breaks to rest your eyes, it may be time to supplement with a lubricating eye drop (artificial tears). Keep a bottle on your desk as a visual reminder to instil a drop as needed during your workday.
- Control lighting and glare on your device screen.
Position your computer screen to avoid glare from overhead lighting or windows. Adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen and dim nearby lighting. Adding an anti-glare, also known as anti-reflective, coating to your glasses helps to improve your vision and comfort by minimizing reflections.
- Reduce Blue light transmission through blue blocking lens coatings.
Prolonged exposure to harmful blue light emitted by devices can damage the inner structures of your eye and affect sleeping patterns. Minimize your exposure to blue light with the use of blue light blocking lenses. Ask your optometrist more about this product at your next eye exam.
- Establish proper working distances and posture for screen viewing.
Keep an eye on your body positioning and posture. Optimally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level as measured from the centre of the screen and 50 to 70 centimetres away from your eyes.
Many of the visual symptoms of DES are temporary and will decrease after discontinuing use of devices. If you experience continued reduced visual abilities even after stopping device usage a visit to an optometrist is pertinent.
Take care of your vision and schedule your yearly eye exam at Kings Park Optometrist.
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