March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and for good reason. With the rise of technology, digital eye strain has become a major problem in the workplace. In fact, the American Optometric Association estimates that 50% to 90% of computer users suffer from digital eye strain. But what is this condition and how can it be prevented? In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including its symptoms, common causes, and how to avoid this condition.
What is digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a condition caused by extended periods of staring at computers and other device screens. Symptoms of digital eye strain include:
- Dry eyes
- Blurry vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Tired eyes
- General discomfort
Common causes of digital eye strain
There are a few main factors that contribute to digital eye strain. The first is prolonged exposure to blue light from screens which can cause fatigue in the eyes over time. Viewing screens at the wrong distance or angle may also contribute to discomfort as well as working in a poorly lit or excessively bright workspace. Lastly, low-quality display settings like brightness levels that are too high or low may strain your eyes.
Prevention tips for digital eye strain
The best way to prevent digital eye strain is to practice good ergonomics when using computers and other digital devices. Here are some simple tips to help reduce your risk:
- Make sure your monitor is positioned at least 20 inches from your face with the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level.
- Ensure proper lighting—minimize glare by avoiding bright lights directly behind you.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: look away from the screen every 20 minutes and focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Use artificial tears if you experience dry eyes.
- Get regular comprehensive eye exams every 1–2 years or as advised by your eye doctor.
Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect any underlying issues that could be causing or worsening digital eye strain symptoms. Furthermore, they ensure your prescription stays up to date if you wear contact lenses or eyeglasses. Wearing the incorrect prescription can lead to eyestrain since your eyes have to work harder to see clearly.
March may be Workplace Eye Wellness Month but caring for our vision should be a year-round commitment! If you’re experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain, schedule an appointment at Vision Center of Lake Norman in Mooresville or Lifetime Eyecare in Newton. Taking preventive measures now will ensure that you see your best without worrying about the effects of digital eye strain!