SIGNS OF DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
- HEADACHES: If you get headaches toward the front of the head or around your eyes, it’s another sign that the muscles in your head are strained from looking at digital devices for too long.
- TIRED EYES: Eye fatigue is another common symptom that especially affects office workers. If your eyes are sore or tired, it’s a good sign you may be overworking them by staring at digital devices for an extended period of time.
- BODY FATIGUE: Feel overly tired and like closing your eyes at the end of the day? It may be your body’s way of telling you that your eyes have been working too hard. When your eyes are closed, there is nothing to look at, so the muscles in your head take time to relax.
- FLUCTUATION OF VISION: This occurs when the muscles in your eyes are so used to focusing on a digital device from a short distance away that they can’t relax when you look somewhere else. As a result your vision fluctuates during the day.
- LIGHT SENSITIVITY: The muscles we use to focus the lenses in our eyes are right next to the muscles that control our pupil sizes. So when light hits our eyes, especially at night, and the pupils constrict, it can be painful and cause light sensitivity.
- POOR NIGHT VISION: If it’s at the end of the day and it’s dark, you may experience poor vision due to eye muscles that are overstressed from constantly trying to focus on light sources and digital devices.
- DRY EYES: When people are just walking around they blink an average of 20X per minute. When we’re reading a piece of paper it drops to 15. Looking at a computer screen – 10, and phone or tablet screen 6-8, or even lower which dries out the eyes.
- ITCHY EYES: Rub your eyes frequently? It may be because the muscles in your eyes are stressed from overuse. This can cause irritation and a sense of itchiness, which is why you may want to massage them.
- REDUCED CONCENTRATION: If you have a hard time focusing on tasks or reading, it may be due to digital eye strain. Since most of the symptoms of CVS are uncomfortable, it causes a distraction.
Things you can do to limit digital eye strain:
- Make sure your computer has an HEV light filter.
- Set screen brightness to 1/2 of the available intensity or less. Use ‘Night Shift’ in Display and Brightness setting on Iphone.
- Wear lenses that filter out blue light. Screens today emit a higher concentration of blue light than in the past.
- Turn off digital devices at least one hour prior to bedtime. Blue light emitted can affect sleep cycles.
- If you spend a good part of your day on the computer, your blink rate is 1/2 what it is otherwise, so use the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes, the computer user should take a break for at least 20 seconds and look at objects that are 20 feet away. Since it is nearly impossible for any computer users to remember that they have to take a break every 20 minutes, there are free software programs that can help you in your mission. Try EyeDefender (http://eyedefender.en.lo4d.com/ ) or WorkRave (http://www.workrave.org/download/.