Technology has changed the world in a big way. Today, the use of technology has continued to grow and is evident in every area of daily life. Most people have more than one digital device at home and on hand everywhere they go. The increase in the use of digital devices has led to an increase in the condition called digital eye strain (DES). This eye condition is quite common, and it affects people of all ages across different genders and races.
Digital eyestrain can be described as eye discomfort that occurs due to prolonged exposure to devices or digital screens. The condition is usually associated with devices that are used at distances that are close to mid-range. These include devices like laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, and e-readers. Most people experience symptoms of eyestrain after using a device for two hours continuously.
The eye condition is becoming more common around the world. Young children are particularly prone to experiencing DES in this era of distance learning. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that kids are using digital screens more frequently. The social distancing rules and the resulting remote learning has meant that the condition is occurring more frequently among children. Fortunately, overcoming the symptoms and preserving kids’ vision is possible.
There are several symptoms of digital eye strain, and they differ in severity from one person to the next. They range from irritation to pain. The common symptoms include eye fatigue and strain, red, dry, and irritated eyes, and blurred vision. Other symptoms are headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain. The symptoms become more severe with prolonged screen use.
Different factors can lead to DES. Digital screens give off blue light that is thought to be the main contributor to eyestrain. This blue light is a high-energy, short-wave light that scatters much more easily than other forms of light wavelengths. This makes it much more difficult for the eyes to focus, leading to strain. Uncorrected vision can predispose an individual to symptoms of digital eyestrain. Poor lighting, glare, poor posture, and incorrect viewing distance can lead to eye discomfort and strain.
As more people and especially kids experience DES, it is important to find out how to deal with the issue. A routine eye examination is important to detect symptoms of eyestrain early. Testing can also help to prevent the development of symptoms. Unplugging or limiting the use of digital devices is an obvious solution. However, it is also a difficult option when the devices are essential for school or work. Taking frequent breaks from screen-time can help, as can resting the eyes for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Correct lighting and using screen protectors can help.
As the use of digital devices continues to grow, taking proper precautions can help to prevent symptoms. Embracing a good diet or taking supplements that help with eye health is a good move. Remember, the higher the digital device use, the greater the risk of developing DES.
Learn more about treating digital eyestrain, contact Lifetime Vision and Eye Care in Miami Gardens, FL at (305) 902-3320 to book an appointment.