Working in front of a computer, whether it be in an office environment or a home, is more common than ever, so it’s no surprise that eye strain is becoming more prevalent as well. This is because our eyes are not designed to focus on digital devices all day, and doing so for long periods on a regular basis can cause some unpleasant results. In this article, we take a look at what digital eye strain is so that you can develop a better understanding of how to treat it in the future.
How digital eyestrain occurs
Digital eyestrain can over time cause all sorts of side effects that may affect your eyes, causing them to become sore, tired, dry, itchy, or burn, and can also cause headaches and migraines – all from looking at something as simple as a computer, tablet or smartphone! Although you might be tempted to visit an eye doctor in South Yarra as quickly as possible, there are many steps you can take yourself to manage your condition on your own.
It’s first important to know how exactly the condition develops – it’s not just the fact that there’s a bright screen in front of you, but it’s focusing so intently on the screen that does the damage, particularly when it is for long stretches of time at once. Even away from computers, holding smartphones close to our face constantly doesn’t allow our eyes adequate rest even for a moment. Those who don’t activate a blue light filter on their phone and like to use a high degree of backlighting (particularly at night) will often find that they suffer from moderate to severe eyestrain and will eventually have problems sleeping at night.
How to manage and prevent digital eyestrain
There are also a few other things that contribute to eyestrain that you might be surprised to learn about – screens cause us to blink less, which reduces tear production and causes irritated eyes, and exercising poor posture by starting at a computer screen can cause some very unpleasant neck and back problems. The solution to all of these problems is an obvious one, however – get up and go for a walk every now and then.
Taking a walk outdoors (away from artificial lighting) will give you a chance to stretch and give your eyes a moment to relax. If you’re unsure how to do this as part of a routine, potentially consider the 20-20-20 rule, which involves taking a 20-second break and looking at any object 20 feet (or 7 meters) in the distance for every 20 minutes in front of a digital device. If you don’t have the luxury of going outside too regularly during work hours, however, you might instead consider investing in glasses that filter blue light to prevent your eyes from getting too strained over time (and these will help you sleep better at night as well).
Does this all sound familiar?
If you typically work in front of a screen all day, there’s a good chance that you make up one of the 65% of Australians who suffer from digital eye strain regularly. If it was just a symptom you thought was normal and were just putting up with, it’s helpful to know that changing your digital habits can help improve your quality of life and the health of your eyes in the long-term.