Digital eye strain is a growing cause for concern in today’s digitized era. It’s also called computer vision syndrome because it occurs due to excessive electronic device usage.
According to the American Optometrist Association, approximately 90 percent of people who spend more than three hours a day on an electronic device experience some form of digital eye strain. This figure also includes children.
How to Tell if You Have Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain is a significant problem because it impacts your overall well-being. But more importantly, digital eye strain is an issue because most people today work office jobs that require them to use electronic devices. As a result, people can’t minimize their screen time even if they want to reduce it.
You can try to maintain your eye health. But you’ll likely develop eye strain at some point in your life if you regularly use electronic devices for more than three hours each day. Research shows the average American adult spends approximately seven hours a day on their electronic devices. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most Americans experience digital eye strain. Research shows that approximately two out of three Americans report symptoms of digital eye strain.
You might have experienced digital eye strain symptoms. Here are the common symptoms of digital eye strain:
- Dry eyes
- Concentration issues
- Itchy eyes
- Sore shoulders and neck
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
It’s also important to note that you have a higher risk of developing digital eye strain if you use a digital device for more than three hours per day, have your computer or digital device closer than an arm’s length from your face, or use your digital device under dim or excessively bright lighting.
The Connection Between Digital Eye Strain and Dry Eye
Dry eye is a commonly observed symptom of digital eye strain. A study found that approximately 27 percent of people with digital eye strain report dry eyes as one of their leading symptoms.
Electronic devices cause dry eyes because your average blink rate decreases when using these devices. The average person blinks about twelve times per minute. However, their blink rate decreases to only five times per minute while using electronic devices. As a result, their tears evaporate because they’re not blinking as often, resulting in dry eyes. Furthermore, people often engage in repeated back-and-forth movements when using digital devices. These generally involve reading text or observing visuals on a screen. Unfortunately, these back-and-forth movements can exacerbate digital eye strain symptoms.
How Does Blue Light Cause Digital Eye Strain
Sunlight is made of red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, violet, and green light. These lights combined form the white light we see. It’s important to understand that each light has different energy and wavelength. For instance, red light has a long wavelength and less energy. Meanwhile, blue light is the opposite.
While the largest source of blue light is sunlight, electronic devices like computers, smartphones, laptops, and handheld gaming devices also emit significant artificial blue light.
Blue light’s short wavelength causes the focus to be located in front of the retina rather than the center of the retina. As a result, research shows that significant exposure to blue light leads to visual fatigue and nearsightedness.
In addition to affecting your eyesight, blue light is also harmful because it blocks melatonin production in your body. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates your body’s circadian rhythm, alerting it when there’s sunlight and telling it to sleep when it’s dark. As a result, excessive exposure to blue light can also affect your sleep cycle.
How to Prevent and Manage Digital Eye Strain
Managing and preventing digital eye strain is easier said than done. Ideally, you’ll want to limit your screen time to prevent digital eye strain. But that’s not possible for everyone. Alternatively, you can focus on limiting blue light exposure. Numerous medical-grade blue light blockers exist on the market. People often invest in anti-blue light glasses. If you’re looking for anti-blue light glasses for men and women, consider checking out MyBlueProtector’s offerings. We have the best and highest quality blue light filters. In addition, our products are also FDA and MHRA-approved. We also have blue light screen protectors for computer screens, laptops, iPhones, iMacs, MacBooks, Samsung devices, etc.
In addition to using blue light screen protectors, consider the following tips to prevent and manage digital eye strain:
Take Regular Breaks
Another habit that will prevent digital eye strain is regularly scheduling breaks. Consider following the 20-20-20 rule. This rule states that you should take a twenty-second break by looking at something twenty feet away after using an electronic device for twenty minutes.
Improve Desk Ergonomics
Desk ergonomics also matter. The wrong computer or laptop placement can place more stress on your eyes. Ensure your computer or laptop is at least an arm’s length away from your face. In addition, position your monitor at or slightly below your eye line. It’ll reduce glare.
Adjust Screen Brightness and Settings
The right screen brightness and settings can lower the impact of blue light on your eyes. Most people generally use their electronic devices in extremely bright or dim lights. Hence, you must ensure your screen’s brightness matches the surrounding. Therefore, it shouldn’t be overlit. However, it also shouldn’t be too dim because it makes it difficult to read on-screen text.
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