In our digitally driven world, many of us spend countless hours staring at our computer screens. Whether it's for work, entertainment, or staying connected with loved ones, our dependence on screens is undeniable. However, this habit can lead to a common issue known as computer eye strain.
The term 'computer eye strain' describes a range of eye and vision-related problems experienced by computer users. It's also referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). The discomfort increases with the amount of computer use, and you might find yourself asking, "Why do my eyes hurt after being on a computer?"
Eye strain from computer use is a modern-day issue that has become increasingly prevalent with the rise of technology use. According to the American Optometric Association, as many as 70% of Americans who use computers regularly experience symptoms of CVS.
When you're focusing on a computer screen, your eyes follow the same path repeatedly. This type of work can tire your eye muscles, leading to eye strain. The strain may be exacerbated by poor lighting, glare on the computer screen, improper viewing distances, poor seating posture, or a combination of these factors.
The symptoms of computer eye strain may be further aggravated by the way you use your eyes and computer. For example, while working on a computer, you tend to blink less, which can make your eyes dry and uncomfortable.
The symptoms of computer eye strain can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. These symptoms can include dry eyes, blurred vision, red or pink eyes, burning sensation, light sensitivity, headaches, and even neck or shoulder pain.
Squinting, straining, or leaning close to the screen could indicate that you have a vision problem. If you find that your eyes are often tired or irritated after using the computer, you might have computer eye strain.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms regularly, it's important to address the issue. Ignoring these symptoms could result in more serious long-term vision problems.
Computer screens emit blue light, which our eyes perceive as daylight. When we expose our eyes to excessive blue light, especially late into the night, it can disrupt our internal body clock, leading to problems like insomnia. Moreover, staring at a screen for long periods can cause our eyes to dry out, as we blink less often when focusing on a screen.
Another common reason for computer eye strain is the glare on the screen. Glare can cause our eyes to work harder, leading to fatigue and strain.
There's a clear connection between prolonged screen time and eye strain. As mentioned earlier, the more time you spend in front of a screen, the more likely you are to experience symptoms of computer eye strain.
This is because our eyes were not designed for prolonged exposure to digital screens. The high-energy visible (HEV) light emitted by screens can cause damage to our eyes over time. Additionally, the effort of focusing on pixels rather than solid print strains our eyes further.
Therefore, it's crucial to manage your screen time and take regular breaks to prevent eye strain from computer use.
While computer eye strain is usually not serious, it can be quite uncomfortable. If your symptoms persist even after trying self-care measures or if they're severe enough to interfere with your work, it's time to seek medical attention.
An optometrist can conduct a comprehensive eye examination to determine if you're suffering from computer eye strain. They may recommend special glasses or lenses designed for computer use, or suggest adjustments to your work environment to reduce your discomfort.
Ignoring persistent eye discomfort can lead to more serious conditions like chronic dry eyes, insomnia, or even permanent vision problems. So, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Preventing computer eye strain involves making some adjustments to your work habits and environment. Here are some tips:
Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This gives your eyes a break from the screen.
Adjust your workstation: Make sure your screen is just below eye level and about 20-28 inches away from your eyes.
Use a screen filter: A screen filter can reduce glare and eye strain.
Blink often: Blinking keeps your eyes moist, reducing dryness and irritation
In conclusion, while technology has brought numerous benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks, such as computer eye strain. It's crucial to recognize the symptoms, know when to seek medical attention, and take proactive steps to prevent future eye strain from computer use.
For more information on eye strain from computer use, contact Chroma Optics at our Burlington, Vermont office. Call (802) 497-1676 to schedule an appointment today