Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of time people spent on digital devices had already started increasing substantially in recent years. For this reason, reliance on computers, smartphones, and other electronic gadgets has become the new reality. As a matter of fact, an estimated 80 percent of people in the United States use a digital device for at least a couple of hours a day. Also, about 67 percent of Americans use two or more of these devices simultaneously.
Unfortunately, increased usage of digital devices appears to cause increased vision problems like digital eye strain (DES). Do you stare at digital displays every day for hours on end? Here are the most common signs associated with DES:
Neck and Shoulder Pain
Several factors generally cause these symptoms. These include glare on your digital display, poor lighting, poor seating posture, and improper viewing distances. Besides the time you spend looking at digital displays, the extent to which you experience visual symptoms may also depend on your vision health and visual abilities. An uncorrected refractive error like farsightedness can contribute to the development of DES symptoms. The same goes for aging and visual skills problems, such as inadequate eye focusing or teaming abilities.
The symptoms associated with digital eye strain may be uncomfortable. But they’re actually preventable. Here are some steps you can take to avoid visual symptoms from DES:
Have a routine eye checkup to see if your need to wear eyeglasses or update your prescription. It would also help detect any eye conditions early on and have them treated.
Bright light coming through your windows, as well as harsh interior lighting, can create an unnatural contrast between your digital screen and your surroundings. Too much brightness will force your eyes to work harder. Similarly, if your room is too dark, it can also tire your eyes out and cause fatigue more quickly.
Set the display brightness to about the same as the brightness of your surroundings. Reduce the high-intensity blue light your monitor emits by decreasing the color temperature of your screen. Avoid stress on your eyes by avoiding color schemes that are of low contrast. Also, ensure that you adjust the text size so that they’re comfortable for your eyes.
Your body is designed for movement. So, try to get up every few minutes to stretch. This can help reduce the tension that’s been building up on your neck, shoulder, and back due to the prolonged use of digital devices. Also, try setting the alarm so you can apply the 20-20-20 rule. It means that every 20 minutes, you have to look at an object from 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Most of the symptoms you may experience from digital eye strain are only temporary. The discomfort usually declines soon after you’ve stopped working on your computer or playing mobile games. But some people may continue to experience reduced visual abilities even after using the digital device.
If you don’t check with your eye doctor to address the cause of your vision problems, blurred vision and other visual ability issues will recur and may even get worse over time.
Learn more about signs & preventing digital eye strain, contact Seymour Eye Clinic in Seymour, Indiana at (812) 523-6100 to make an appointment.