Digital eyestrain is the name given to the cluster of symptoms that come up after using a digital device extensively. Using computers, smartphones, and other digital devices for long sessions strains the eyes.
Digital eyestrain is quite common. Experts estimate that up to 10 million people visit the eye doctor every year due to eyestrain. As more people uptake digital devices and more processes get automated, this number is set to increase.
Signs and Symptoms of Eyestrain
The symptoms of eyestrain are uncomfortable but have no permanent consequences. Your symptoms may only worsen if you continue to work or live in an unfriendly environment. Here are some of the symptoms you may experience:
· Blurred vision
· Feeling that your eyes are dry
· Some other discomfort
· Burning and itching eyes
· Difficulty focusing
· Increased light sensitivity
· Irritated and sore eyes
· Pain in the neck, shoulders, and back
· Tightness in the temples, forehead, and brow area
The symptoms of digital eyestrain reduce your productivity. If you must work all day on your computer, they only get worse. Lack of or inadequate sleep may also worsen the irritation. This is because while you sleep is when your eyes receive nutrients. So, if you’re not taking a break, your eyes may not function as well as they should.
For people who have constant migraines and headaches, eyestrain may cause blurry vision. The same is the case for persons who have underlying issues like a muscle imbalance.
Persons with eye conditions like hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism need special glasses to correct their conditions. But, wearing glasses with the wrong prescription may cause their eyes to strain.
Stress and some medications may also worsen some symptoms.
Diagnosis of Eyestrain
A proper diagnosis performed by an eye doctor determines if the patient has eyestrain or not. Going by what the patient is feeling and the medical history, the doctor rules out any serious illness. There are no tests to confirm the presence of eyestrain. The eye doctor must listen to what you’re feeling and connect the dots.
To avoid eyestrain, do the following:
1. Make changes to your environment and work habits. If you work for long hours, blink more often to keep wetting your eyes.
2. When working for long hours, take up the 20-20-20 vision rule. The rule says that for every 20 minutes of work, look up and focus on something else 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3. Take regular breaks if possible.
4. At home, massage your eyes with a warm wet towel. Take a washcloth and soak it in warm water. Shut your eyes and press the cloth against your eyelids. This habit relieves eye fatigue and makes some dryness symptoms fade away.
5. You may also buy some artificial tears at your local pharmacy. If your eyes are not producing enough tears, the artificial ones will refresh your eyes.
6. Adjust your indoor lighting to avoid glares and harsh reflections. Also, get an anti-glare filter for your computer monitor. Ensure that you occasionally clean the monitor surface. Dirt can reduce contrast and create reflections or glares that strain your eyes.
Digital eyestrain is an uncomfortable condition. Although it’s easy to treat it, it’s best to have an eye exam to rule out any underlying condition. Get your eyestrain treatment and a comprehensive eye exam at Abraham Eye Associates in Villanova, Pennsylvania. You can also call 484-209-0800 to request an appointment.