The increased use of digital technology has led to an increase in physical eye discomfort for many people after prolonged screen use – usually more than two hours at a time, according to The Vision Council. More than 83 percent of Americans say they use digital devices for more than two hours per day, and 53 percent say they use two digital devices simultaneously.
And it’s not just adults that eye strain affects. Kids, too, fall victim to this. Seventy-two percent of Americans say their children get more than two hours of screen time each day. Digital eye strain can display several symptoms, such as:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
- Reduced attention span
- Poor behavior
- Blurred vision
Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use, says the American Optometric Association. The level of discomfort increases in proportion with the amount of digital screen use.
Symptoms can be exacerbated by:
- Insufficient lighting
- Screen glare
- Improper viewing distances
- Poor seating posture
- Untreated vision problems
Did you know the average American spends seven hours a day on the computer, either in the office or working from home? If you’re feeling the effects of digital eye strain, there are ways you can help the situation.
Tips for Alleviating Eye Strain
The American Optometric Association recommends using the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. Here are some more tips:
- Sit appropriately: You should be sitting on a padded chair that conforms to the body, preferably an ergonomic chair. Your feet should rest flat on the floor, making sure the arm rests are positioned so that your hands and wrists are supported while using the keyboard.
- Address lighting concerns: Don’t place lamps directly in your field of vision. Adjust them so that they are tilted down and away. Use blinds to control natural sunlight streaming in, and replace the lightbulbs in your immediate working area to low wattage ones. Use a screen glare filter if you can.
- Adjust your computer screen: An ideal distance from you and your screen is between 20 and 28 inches, with the computer screen positioned 15 to 20 degrees below eye level, or 4 to 5 inches.
- Get regular eye exams: Your existing contacts and glasses may not be enough for reducing eye strain. Your doctor may prescribe you special lenses, lens powers or tints to increase your comfort. Your doctor may also recommend vision therapy, which consists of a series of visual activities that improve visual abilities.
Call Simon Eye Associates if you experience digital eye strain at 302-239-1933. We serve families in Wilmington, Newark, Middletown, and nearby DE areas.