The events of this year with prolonged lockdowns and time at home has intensified the use of screens for some. More time watching TV or Netflix, reading books on the kindle, gaming, on the phone, or using a computer. All this time looking at screens can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Fatigue. Here we take a closer look at what this is, and the symptoms and treatment.
Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Fatigue are terms used to describe vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet and mobile phone use.
In our modern world, we increasingly use information presented on digital screens rather than printed material. Digital screens are usually located at a near or intermediate distance and present similar tasks to reading. Good near focus ability and eye co-ordination is required to maintain comfortable vision for all near tasks.
Screen based devices emit natural blue light and it has been recently suggested that excessive exposure may contribute to discomfort. In addition, we probably spend more time each day using digital screens than we did previously with reading print.
Causes of Digital Eye Fatigue
Conditions which can contribute include:
- uncorrected focussing or coordination vision problems
- poor lighting
- glare from light sources reflecting off the digital screen
- variable viewing distances and screen position
- poor posture
- a combination of these factors
- reduced natural blinking
Symptoms of Digital Eye Fatigue
The most common symptoms associated include:
- blurred vision
- dry eyes
- neck and shoulder pain
Treatment of Digital Eye Fatigue
Any vision discomfort can diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination at your local Eyecare Plus Optometrist.
In some cases, individuals who do not require the use of eyeglasses for other daily activities may benefit from glasses prescribed specifically for computer use. In addition, persons already wearing glasses may find their current prescription does not provide optimal vision for viewing a computer.
Specific lens designs, lens tints or coatings may help to maximize visual abilities and comfort.
Practical tips to assist in easing the discomfort in the short term include:
- Try to keep your computer monitor at arm’s length and the top near or below eye level. Looking down slightly to the screen allows the eyes to align better
- Ensure that the eyes are well focussed and aligned at the screen viewing distance and wear any spectacles recommended for the task
- Monitor lighting – you will be more comfortable if the room has good general illumination, the screen has appropriate brightness and contrast and is tilted to avoid reflected surface glare
- Have a break occasionally by getting up and leaving your desk. Moving about relieves any postural problems and looking at longer distances allows the eyes to relax focus.
- Don’t forget to blink regularly to avoid the eyes drying. Blink rate reduces when concentrating on specific tasks and many office environments have low humidity. Avoid having your face directly in air flow from air conditioning outlets, fans or heaters. Fresh humid air will also help with comfort.
Interested to know more? To make an appointment with one of the optometrists at Durkin & Black, Eyecare Plus Ashgrove simply book online or call 07 3463 0439 during business hours.