The Digital Age & Your Vision
It might surprise you to hear that Canadians spend an average of 11 hours per day in front of a screen. This includes working on a computer, time spent looking at their phones, and watching TV.
All this time in front of a screen could be taking a toll on our eyes.
After using digital screens all day, our eyes can become fatigued. Often, your optometrist will ask you about your digital screen use to get a better idea of your visual habits.
Your eye doctor will assess your visual health at your comprehensive eye exam. If you have any discomfort from digital screen use, or if you’re concerned about your vision, you can speak to your eye doctor about how to mitigate symptoms from digital eye strain.
How to Identify Digital Eye Strain
Sometimes, digital eye strain is characterized by tired, stinging eyes. Other times, signs of strain could include headaches and blurred vision. Learning how to identify symptoms early can help you realize when it’s time to take a screen break or reach out to your doctor for more solutions.
Symptoms of digital eye strain include:
- Blurred vision
- Eye irritation
- Double vision
- Excessive tearing
- Dry eyes
- Excessive blinking
- Eye discomfort
Managing Digital Eye Strain
There are preventive measures you can take at home and in the office to combat digital eye strain. First, make sure you speak with your optometrist to ensure you’re taking the right course of action for your eyes and eliminate any other causes for your discomfort, such as an incorrect eye prescription and dry eyes.
Follow these tips to help reduce digital eye strain:
- Keep your computer screen about an arm’s length from your eyes, and 20 degrees below eye level.
- Match the brightness of your screen to your surroundings, and set colour and contrast to suit your eyes.
- Minimize reflections and glare by dimming your lights and staying away from window reflections. You might consider using an anti-glare screen cover.
- Keep your screen clean from fingerprints and dust.
- Keep your monitor and paperwork the same distance from your eyes and close together to minimize slouching or unnecessary movement.
- Use the 20-20-20 rule: After 20 minutes of looking at the screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to give your eyes a chance to rest.
Your Eye Health Matters
Whether or not you work at a computer all day, you may be affected by digital eye strain. Those who watch a lot of TV or use their cellphones a lot can experience strained eyes.
You can discuss any concerns you may have about digital eye strain with your optometrist at your comprehensive eye exam, or you can book an appointment any time if you would like to learn more about how to prevent and treat digital eye strain. Our optometrists may be able to recommend exercises, eye drops, warm compresses, lifestyle adjustments, and more to help your eyes feel relief.
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