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Digital Eye Strain/Computer Vision Syndrome                                              

How many electronic devices do you own? Do you work on a computer all day? Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is becoming a growing issue due to the digital revolution. Most consumer owns one or more of the following devices: a smart phone, tablet, laptop, computer, and flat-screen television. According to The Vision Council, about 80% of American adults report using digital devices for more than two hours per day with nearly 67% using two or more devices simultaneously. Fifty nine percent also report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. 

Some signs and symptoms of digital eye strain includes: 

  • Tired, sore eyes 

  • Watery or dry eyes

  • Frequent headaches

  • Blurred vision 

  • Neck and shoulder pain 

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Heavy eyelids

  • Sensitivity to lights 

Digital Eye Strain Symptoms also extends to children who receive more than two hours of screen time per day. Additionally to above symptoms, other signs can include: 

  • Frequent eye rubbing

  • Poor behavior

  • Reduced attention span

  • Uninterested in reading or near work

  • Fluctuating vision 

  • Irritability 

Practical Solutions

Start with a Comprehensive Eye Exam

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recommends a routine comprehensive vision exam before starting work on a computer and once a year thereafter. During the exam, Dr. Dau will check to make sure your prescription is up to date, assess your eye alignment and movement, eye teaming and focusing, ocular surface and overall general eye health. Dr. Dau recommends patients bring measurements of their specific work station distances to ensure the prescription is accurate and customized to each patient's working distance. 

Computer Glasses

Certain lens designs made specifically for reducing eye strain and fatigue while using digital devices can be prescribed to patients who are on the computer 8 hours or more a day. These lens designs, often called office lens or anti-fatigue lens, can provide patients with a specific intermediate computer power or a gradient change in power within the lens to reduce the amount of focus a patient has to use resulting in reduced eye strain and fatigue. 

Anti-Glare Coating and Blue Light Filter

Blue lights are short wavelength, high energy lights that scatter more easily than other visible light rays. Visible blue lights emitted from digital devices can disrupt circadian rhythm and can contribute to digital eye strain. We recommend an anti-glare coating with blue light filters for all our patients to reduce exposure to blue lights. 

Other tips:

  • Proper lighting to avoid glare

  • Take breaks to prevent eye strain. Dr. Dau recommends the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes, look at a distance of 20 feet for 20 seconds or more to allow your eyes to refocus.​​

  • To minimize dry eyes, Dr. Dau recommends frequent blinking and using a moisturizing artificial tears.  

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