Ways to Relieve Digital Eye Strain

A young woman holds her glasses in one hand and pinches her eyes with the other. She is seated in front of a computer

Throughout history, people have suffered a variety of uncomfortable symptoms based on the common lifestyle and working conditions of the time. Today’s symptoms are often results of our digital device use. Digital eye strain, in particular, has become a common condition in the twenty-first century.

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain—sometimes referred to as computer vision syndrome—is actually a group of problems that can occur from staring at computer screens and other digital devices for extended periods of time. These digital devices include desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.

What are the symptoms of digital eye strain?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are multiple symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Eyes that are sore, burning, or itchy
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Tightening or soreness in the neck or shoulders
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Struggling to keep eyes open
  • Trouble concentrating

5 Steps You Can Take to Prevent and Relieve Digital Eye Strain

Fortunately, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to minimize the discomfort caused by digital eye strain.

  1. Upgrade your screen. A larger screen with sharper contrast can be easier on the eyes, preventing them from struggling quite so much to see what is being displayed. If purchasing a larger screen isn’t practical, adjust the levels on your present screen to larger and more neutral settings.
  2. Take more breaks. Working with a digital device uses the muscles around the eyes and forces the eye to focus. These eye muscles should be rested, away from a digital screen, for at least five minutes every hour. 
  3. Blink more frequently. Blinking refreshes the eyes. When we are staring at a digital screen, we often subconsciously keep our eyes open for long periods of time without blinking. This can cause dryness and discomfort.
  4. Tell your eye doctor about your device use. Your eye care professional should be made aware of how often and frequently you use digital devices, especially if use is a major portion of your workday. They can offer modern vision products that can better address the condition.
  5. Adjust lighting and minimize glare. Working in a room that is too bright or that delivers too much glare on the screen can significantly add to vision strain. Experiment with adjusting lighting and screen angles to minimize glare.

Your computer screen should be at arm’s length from your face and below your eyes by about 15-20 degrees. If you are having difficulty seeing from this distance, contact Florida Eye Specialists for a free consultation. A consultation with Florida Eye Specialists can help identify eye health issues early and provide solutions to minimize their effects and improve the quality of your life.

Florida Eye Specialists has 8 locations with a team of experienced and caring eye care professionals serving Northeast Florida. From Palatka to St. Augustine and in and around Jacksonville, contact the location nearest you!