man with eye strain

How to Protect Your Eyes From Digital Eye Strain

Over 40% of Canadians reported working from home last year.

A consequence of this has been an increase in cases of digital eye strain. Do you spend a lot of time on the computer and want to know more about this condition?

Keep reading below to learn what it is, how to protect your eyes, and when to see an eye doctor. 


What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Researchers are discovering that more people are feeling the effects of computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. This condition directly results from spending more time looking at digital devices like computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

People with uncorrected hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia will have a harder time focusing on screens for longer periods of time. But, people with perfect vision will also feel these digital eye strain symptoms:

  • Eye strain
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation
  • Double vision
  • Excessive tears or dry eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Excessive blinking
  • Headache

Digital strain is not only bad for your overall eye health but it's affecting work productivity too.

A study by the Alberta Association of Optometrists found that more than70% of adults experience this condition.

Tips on Protecting Your Eyes From Digital Strain

Now let's discuss how you can find eye strain relief in a digital environment.

The use of screens isn't going away anytime soon, but if you follow these tips you can help reduce computer eye strain:

  1. Buy a pair of blue light glasses to filter out the blue light from digital screens that affect sleep patterns and might cause damage to the retina

  2. Follow the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds)

  3. Adjust your screen brightness to match your work area, and activate dark mode when possible

  4. Take a 10-minute break each hour to rest your eyes but also to stretch

  5. Speak with your optometrist about treating dry eye symptoms

  6. It’s very important to make sure that your eyeglass prescription is up to date for your vision correction at the computer

You should have a standing annual appointment with your eye doctor. If you're struggling to get through the workday, reach out to them for additional eye strain treatment.

When Should You Visit an Eye Doctor?

The tips we provided above can help reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain. Most people can get blue light glasses or follow the 20-20-20 rule and feel better. But, when is it time to schedule an appointment with a professional?

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) recommends calling your eye doctor if you're experiencing vision loss, any vision changes (like flashes of light or blurriness), physical changes in the eye, or seeing colours differently.

Any of these signs could mean you're experiencing computer eye strain or something more serious. You should see your optometrist as soon as possible to prevent these symptoms from developing into something more serious.

Don't Live With Eye Strain

After reading this article you should have a better understanding of what causes digital eye strain and how to reduce it. One thing you shouldn't do is live with the symptoms. Delaying treatment can make things worse.

Bellemore Optometry and Eyes on Tecumseh can identify what's troubling you. Schedule an appointment with our optometrists at our clinics in Windsor or Tecumseh.