Your Eyes vs. Your Screen: a crash-course in Digital Eye Strain

From video conferencing to online classes, COVID-19 has us more reliant on our devices than ever before. With the majority of people now working from home, it's more important than ever to be on the lookout for any signs of Digital Eye Strain, because chances are you've already experienced at least one symptom.

What is digital eye strain?

Digital Eye Strain, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), is the combination of eye and vision problems associated with the use of digital devices, including computers, TVs, phones and tablets.

CVS is extremely common, with up to 90% of computer users experiencing some form of discomfort after prolonged computer use.*

How do I know if I'm experiening CVS?

Common symptoms include:

  • Dry or red eyes

  • Blurred or double vision

  • General eye fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Neck or shoulder pain

  • Trouble concentrating

What can I do?

If we're being honest, we know that cutting down screen time just isn't an option for the majority of people. The good news: we have some tips that can help prevent digital eye strain.

1. Take breaks

Your eyes are working harder than ever; make sure you don't make their job any harder by taking frequent breaks. Use the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes in front of a digital device, take a 20-second break and look at something that's 20 feet (7 metres) away.

2. Blink!

Remember to blink regularly. It may sound obvious, but several studies have found that people blink far less frequently when looking at screens compared to reading from hard copies, which exacerbates eye strain.**

3. Adjust computer settings and work area

If working on a computer, make sure your screen is between 40-75cm, or an arm's length, from you. The top of your screen should be just slightly below eye level. Enlarge the font size if that makes it easier to see.

Many devices now let you enable a blue light filter, which can help alleviate some of the strain on your eyes.

4. A note about COVID-19...

If you're spending more time at home, make sure you're not just hopping from screen to screen. Instead of wandering over to the couch and watching TV during your lunch break, take the dog for a walk, sit outside in the sun or do some stretches. This can also help alleviate some of the secondary symptoms of CVS, including headaches and soreness in the upper body.

5. Get a pair of anti-fatigue (computer) glasses

Whilst adjusting the blue light settings on your devices can help, anti-fatigue glasses are far more powerful at blocking both UV light and blue light, and are specifically designed to relax your eyes and reduce strain.

Anti-fatigue lenses are desgined for everyone - from people who already wear glasses to those who have perfect vision. And the best part? Our Anti-Fatigue Glasses packages start at just $299 - the same price as a cup of coffee a day for just three months!

Time for an eye test? You can make an appointment online here.

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Want to read more?

Read a little on our favorite tried-and-tested Anti Fatigue Lenses:

Works cited:

  • *Rosenfield, M. (2011). Computer vision syndrome: a review of ocular causes and potential treatments. Ophthalmic And Physiological Optics, 31(5), 502-515.

  • **van Tilborg, M., Murphy, P., & Evans, K. (2017). Impact of Dry Eye Symptoms and Daily Activities in a Modern Office. Optometry And Vision Science, 94(6), 688-693.

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