Eyestrain is when the eyes get fatigued due to intense use, such as while using digital devices. The eyes can also feel tired after reading or driving for a long time. Eyestrain is annoying, but in most cases, it is not severe and is often solved by resting the eyes.
Sometimes, eyestrain is a symptom of an underlying eye condition that requires treatment. Find out how to protect your eyes from digital eyestrain.
Digital eyestrain (DES) is a common condition that usually occurs due to prolonged use of digital devices. Focusing on the screen for a long time can stress the eyes. People do not blink as often when using computers, causing eye dryness.
Maintaining poor posture when using the device or holding the device too close or far from the eyes also causes strain. Poor lighting when using the screen, and exposure to blue light emitted by the screen, can strain the eyes.
There are several symptoms of eyestrain. They include:
Sore or tired eyes
Blurry or double vision
Burning or itching eyes
Dry or excessively watery eyes
Sore back, shoulders, and neck
Increased light sensitivity
Difficulty keeping the eyes open
There are things that you can do to protect your eyes from DES. They include:
Blink frequently when using the computer and use eye drops to keep the eyes lubricated
Look away from the screen frequently (follow the 20-20-20 rule)
Position the screen at the proper distance: at arm’s length and slightly below eye level
Ensure the room is well-lit, not too dim or bright
Wear special eyewear and the correct prescription to avoid eyestrain
Place printed material correctly when reading and working on the computer
Improve the air quality in the room by using a humidifier to avoid eye dryness
Rest your eyes by limiting the time you spend on digital devices
An eye specialist will ask questions to determine whether you have DES. Understanding the symptoms will help determine if you have the condition. During the visit, the doctor may also conduct a vision test. Regular eye exams will help monitor your eye condition and detect changes in your vision.
Treatment for DES involves making lifestyle changes or changes in your environment. The doctor will recommend the best treatment if you have an underlying eye condition. Using special eyeglasses, adjusting the lighting, and taking regular breaks can help prevent eyestrain. Using artificial tears will help relieve the symptoms of dry eye. Talk to your optometrist about the best lenses or eyeglass coating for your situation.
If you experience symptoms of eyestrain, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. Eating a healthy diet or including more omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your eyes healthy.
For more on protecting your eyes from digital eyestrain, visit Wear Eyewear at our office in Chicago or Orland Park, Illinois. Call (312) 626-0036 or (708) 349-9327 to book an appointment today.