It has been estimated that the average worker in America can spend up to 7 hours a day on digital devices, including computers, tablets, and cell phones. Extended hours on a digital device can result in a group of symptoms referred to as digital eyestrain or computer vision syndrome.
Symptoms include ocular discomfort, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, dry eyes, blurry vision at distance and near, and fluctuations in vision. These symptoms are not strictly related to using these devices alone.
The overhead lighting, the viewing distance, your desk set up, and uncorrected refractive error can result in the discomfort with extended computer work. Another aspect that needs to be considered with digital devices is the blue light that they emit. Blue light has the highest amount of energy of the visible spectrum that is absorbed by the retina in the back of the eye. There are studies that show that too much blue light can result in damage to the light sensitive cells.
At this time there is research being performed to evaluate the long-term effects of blue light and the health of the eye and it has been postulated that it may increase the risk for macular degeneration. It has been shown that by blocking the blue light emitted from digital devices can aid in sleeping, headaches, and eyestrain. Below are a few tips to improve comfort and avoid digital eyestrain.
20-20-20 Rule – Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break looking 20 feet or further
Blink – The blink rate decreases when focusing at the computer resulting in symptoms of dryness.
Use proper lighting at your desk – incandescent lighting on each side of the monitor and avoid overhead lighting resulting in glare and shadows. You can also increase the brightness on your computer monitor to decrease the flickering of the monitor.
Blutech lenses – Block blue light emitted from digital devices.
Computer lenses (Antifatigue lenses) – Glasses prescription to allow your eyes to relax during extended computer work.
Proper desk set up – Your computer screen should be located 4 or 5 inches below eye level and set up approximately 20 to 28 inches from your eyes.
Do not forget to schedule your comprehensive eye exam to monitor for eye health to obtain the most accurate and updated glasses prescription.
Digital eyestrain is an issue that will continue due to the increasing use of digital devices in our everyday lives. If you experience any complaints related to extended computer work schedule your appointment today.
Prior to your appointment, evaluate your work space and obtain measurements of your working distance from your eyes to your screen. This information will aid in the examination to provide the vision correction necessary to reduce the strain on you eyes throughout the day.