Midwestern University Clinics Eye Institute Eye Optometrists Meeting

Tips to Reduce Digital Eye Strain

June 6, 2017

According to The Vision Council, almost 90% of Americans use digital devices for two or more hours each day, and nearly 60% use digital devices for five or more hours each day. Significant use of digital devices can lead to eye or visual discomfort.

The American Optometric Association defines Digital Eye Strain (DES) as a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and cell phone use. Symptoms of DES include eye strain, redness, dryness, blurry vision, and headache. Neck, shoulder, and back pain can also result from poor ergonomics while using these devices. It’s reported that 65% of Americans experience DES.

5 Tips to Reduce Digital Eye Strain:

  1. Use artificial tear drops to reduce symptoms of dryness. Studies indicate that individuals blink 60% less while using a computer. Further compounding this problem, the air inside many office environments is dryer, which can cause tears to evaporate quicker. Artificial tear eye drops lubricate the eye, providing relief from dryness.
  2. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. It’s recommended that every 20 minutes you should take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away to help reduce DES.
  3. Alter your computer display settings. You can configure the settings on your computer monitor to help reduce eye strain. Change the brightness of the screen to match the light in your surrounding work station. Also, adjust the size of the text to be two sizes larger than the smallest size you can read. Finally, setting black text on a white background can further reduce the strain on the eyes.
  4. Reduce glare. If you wear glasses, ask your eye care provider about anti-reflective coatings for the lenses. Installation of an anti-glare screen on your computer monitor can also reduce the glare to your eyes.
  5. Make sure you are wearing the correct glasses prescription for computer use. Your optometrist can discuss options for optimal computer glasses to meet your specific needs and circumstances, such as the distance you sit from your computer monitor.

Our team of optometrists at the Midwestern University Eye Institute are here to help. We can discuss Digital Eye Strain and specific ways to alleviate the symptoms. In addition, we provide detailed, comprehensive eye care to meet the needs of you and your family. For more information, contact the Eye Institute in Illinois at 630.743.4500 or in Arizona at 623.537.6000.

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not for use in diagnosing any condition. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment and does not establish a provider/patient relationship. Always consult your own physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions regarding any possible medical condition.

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