Screens and Your Eyes
We spend a lot of time on screens. From our phones to computers to tablets and TVs, our eyes are constantly focusing on screens to gather information. Our increased use of screens every day has been linked to vision problems, most notably digital eye strain, otherwise known as computer vision syndrome.
A comprehensive eye exam is the best way for your eye doctor at Burlington Optometry to diagnose and treat symptoms of digital eye strain and provide you with strategies to overcome them.
Why Do Screens Cause Digital Eye Strain?
When you stare at a screen for a long time, the muscles in your eyes built to focus at different distances spend too much time in a fixed position. This extended period of focus can cause fatigue—or digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain can cause:
- Increased headaches
- Eye fatigue
- Shoulder & neck pain
- Blurry vision
The more time you spend using screens, the more at risk you are of developing digital eye strain.
How Can You Manage Digital Eye Strain?
Fortunately, you can improve symptoms of digital eye strain by adjusting the amount of time you spend using screens. There are also different strategies you can use to make screen use a little bit easier on your eyes.
Use the 20-20-20 Rule
The 20-20-20 rule is simple. After 20 minutes spent focusing on a screen, look away at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This strategy gives your eyes the chance to readjust and exercise themselves by focusing at a different distance, diminishing the effects of digital eye strain.
Change Your Position
We often position our screens far too close to our eyes. Distancing yourself from your screen can reduce eye fatigue. Positioning your screen at arm’s length and 20 degrees below eye level can help reduce the risk of digital eye strain.
Adjust Your Screen
Most screens have settings to adjust colour and brightness for different lighting situations. These settings make the light from your screen less harsh, meaning your eyes can relax when focusing for long periods of time. It’s also important to keep your screen clean to reduce glare. A microfibre towel can effectively pick up dust and dirt off screens.
Book Your Appointment Today
While digital eye strain symptoms aren’t permanent and can be managed, the same symptoms could be signs of other vision problems. Seeing your eye doctor at Burlington Optometry is the first step you can take to manage and overcome your eye issues.
Find us in the Burlington Heights Plaza at the corner of Upper Middle Road and Guelph Line. We’re located next to Once Upon a Child, across from McDonald’s. If you have trouble finding us, give us a call!