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Tips to Reduce Digital Eye Strain

April 21, 2021

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 show that individuals blink approximately 60% less when using a computer. Also, the air in many office environments is dry, which can cause your tears to evaporate more quickly. Artificial tears are lubricant eye drops which can provide dryness relief resulting from these conditions.
  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. The brightness of your screen should be approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding station. The text should be two sizes bigger than the smallest size you can see. Black text on a white background, as opposed to text on a busy background, is less tiring to read.
  4. Reduce glare. Be sure to ask your eye care provider about anti-reflective coatings for spectacles. Also consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor, as excess glare can cause DES.
  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.

If are experiencing symptoms associated with Digital Eye Strain, an optometrist can help diagnose discuss ways to alleviate these symptoms. 

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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