Do you have a crick in your neck, a painful shoulder, or an aching back? Maybe your eyes are dry, your vision is blurry, or you have a tenacious headache that just won’t end? These are all indications of digital eye strain, as stated by 65 percent of Americans, according to a 2015 survey by The Vision Council.
Similar to the muscles in your body, your eyes can get tired too. For the work they do, your eyes bear the strongest muscles in your body. But as strong as they are, even they can become tense and fatigued by hunkering in front of a computer, under powerful lights or by spending several hours in front of a TV.
Digital eye strain is defined as the distress caused by spending 2 or more hours in front of digital screens. It is correlated with continuous and close to mid-range interactions with digital screens. A combination of factors adds to digital eye strain, including the proximity to the screen, the frequency and duration of usage and the extent of exposure to High-energy Visible (HEV) or blue light emitted by video screens. Naturally, a person would blink approximately 18 times a minute on an average. However, staring at the screen for a notable amount of time typically leads to a decreased amount of blinking. This lessens the production of tears and moisture in the eye.
In fact, up to 68 percent of millennials and 63 percent of Gen Xers experience digital eye strain as a consequence of increasing usage of electronic devices.
Symptoms and Signs of Digital Eye Strain
Recent work and lifestyle advances have driven us to spend extended hours in close-range activities with the screens of our smart phones, computers, tablets, and gaming consoles. For some people, visual fatigue can also lead to decreased productivity, falling ability to concentrate apart from deteriorating visual health. Many kids too, are experiencing digital fatigue owing to their prolonged exposure to digital screens. According to The National Eye Institute, nearsightedness has increased by 66 percent since the 1970s. The common symptoms of digital eye strain include weary eyes, back/neck pain, burning sensation and blurriness in the eyes.
Migraines— Ocular Migraines and the Link between Headaches and Eyes
Migraines are repulsive. For those of you who have never undergone a migraine, you’re one of the lucky some. There’s the pain, of course- pulsating, hammering pain. But then, you get the tag-along signs: nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine victims swiftly learn on the second or a third migraine that visual indications like wavy lines, flashing dots, and temporary blindness are usually the initial sign of a migraine. Also, not all migraines are alike. Retinal migraines, for example, can occur with or without an accompanying headache, but they can nevertheless be just as unpleasant.
There are various ways to overcome digital eye strain. The simplest remedy is to take periodic breaks from gazing at your digital screen. It is advised to take at least four 5-minute ’mini-breaks’ in addition to two 15-minute pauses throughout your work time. These breaks would enable you to relax your eyes and enhance your focus.
Other remedies involve adjusting the lighting at your workstation. It should not be overpowering or sharp, and it should not be very low as well. Fixing a blind or excluding exterior light could better your conditions a lot. Minimizing glare from the screen by using an anti-glare screen, setting the screen display to a comfortable level, or using anti-reflective (AR) coating glasses could also allow your eye muscles to relax more.
If your symptoms still continue beyond a week, it will be advisable to consult our vision experts at our Insight Vision Center. Our talented team of eye care specialists is ever eager to help you with any of your vision related queries or problems.