March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, meaning it’s the perfect time to learn about digital eye strain. Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), is a condition that affects millions of people who spend long hours looking at digital screens every day. It can cause fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain. Let’s explore what causes digital eye strain, its symptoms, prevention tips, and why regular eye exams are important.
What causes digital eye strain?
The most common cause of digital eye strain is blue light emissions coming from computers and other device screens. This type of light has a shorter wavelength than other colors in the visible spectrum, causing your eyes to work harder when you stare at digital screens for hours. Other causes include:
- Having poor posture
- Inadequate or harsh lighting
- Glare from device screens
- Viewing a device at the wrong distance and angle
- Uncorrected vision problems such as astigmatism and farsightedness
- A combination of these factors
Symptoms of digital eye strain
The most common symptom of digital eye strain is tired eyes after spending long hours staring at a computer screen or device. Other symptoms include dry eyes, headaches, blurry vision, neck pain, shoulder pain, and sensitivity to light. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult with an optometrist for further evaluation and treatment options.
Prevention tips for digital eye strain
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing digital eye strain:
- Take frequent breaks from looking at screens
- Use proper lighting
- Adjust your monitor settings
- Use anti-glare screens
- Adjust your posture
- Practice the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds)
- Wear blue-light-blocking glasses
- Get regular comprehensive eye exams
Why regular eye exams are important
Regular comprehensive eye exams by an optometrist are key to detecting early signs of digital eye strain as well as any underlying conditions that may be contributing to it. Additionally, regular eye exams can identify early warning signs of serious conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. This allows for earlier intervention and treatment before irreversible damage occurs.
By following the tips above and scheduling regular eye exams, you can protect yourself from the negative effects of excessive screen time. If you’re experiencing digital eye strain symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule your eye exam with Dr. Ellen Merkin in Las Vegas. She can examine your eyes to determine if digital eye strain or another condition is causing your symptoms and suggest treatments or lifestyle changes to help relieve discomfort.