What Is Digital Eye Strain and What Can You Do About It?
Digital eye strain is a group of eye and vision problems that can occur while talking on the phone, reading and writing emails, or using digital devices. Symptoms include problems with focusing, watering eyes and blurry vision, itchiness, and a dry, red eye. Many people experience these symptoms if they use digital devices for long periods. Some are also susceptible to headaches, neck pain, and eye strain after using digital devices for extended periods.
What Is the Main Cause of Digital Eye Strain?
The main culprit behind the symptoms of digital eye strain is the light emitted by computers. Computer screen light is harmful to the eyes due to its different wavelengths. The light given out by computers is too intense for the eyes and decreases the amount of melatonin in the body. As a result, the eyes and the brain become overexposed to bright light for a long time, which causes eye strain and even headaches.
What Are the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain?
There are many symptoms of digital eye strain. These may vary from person to person and may also depend on the amount of time an individual spends on digital devices. The most common symptoms include:
- A burning or itching sensation in the eyes
- Red, dry eyes and eyes with excess tears
- Distorted vision
- Blurred vision
- Headache and neck pain
The symptoms of digital eye strain may vary depending on the amount of time spent on digital devices, the amount of blue light emitted from the screen, and the individual’s age.
Who Is at Risk of Getting Digital Eye Strain?
Using a digital device for prolonged periods is the leading cause of digital eye strain. Children and teenagers who use digital devices for gaming or watching movies are at the highest risk of developing these symptoms. However, even adults who use digital devices for extended periods are also susceptible to digital eye strain.
How to Treat Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain may be treated in different ways depending on the symptoms. The following are some of the ways to treat digital eye strain:
- Use computer glasses that filter blue light from computer screens to reduce the exposure of the eyes to the LED light
- Download software like f.lux to limit the amount of blue light emitted from the computer
- Limit the time you spend on digital devices; at least give your eyes a break every two hours
If digital eye strain is causing you much discomfort, you may also want to speak to an eye doctor. You can also visit a contact lens specialist if you use contact lenses.
How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain
Regular breaks from a digital device can help to prevent digital eye strain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also helpful for avoiding digital eye strain. Your eyes may need more rest if you suffer from dry eyes or other medical conditions, such as diabetes or problems with blood pressure. Here are some tips on how you can avoid digital eye strain:
- Dim the screen brightness of your computer or smartphone
- Take a break every 15-20 minutes to look away from the screen
- Gently squeeze your eyes shut and then open them to improve your eyesight
- Apply eye drops to keep the eyes moist
- Eat iron-rich foods to improve the blood circulation in the body
- Drink more water
- Reduce the use of the computer at night
Digital eye strain is a common condition that can affect anyone who spends a long time on a computer or smartphone. Symptoms include redness of the eyes, watering eyes, and blurry vision. However, you can get rid of these symptoms with the proper treatment. Taking regular breaks from digital screens is the best way to prevent digital eye strain.
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