Computer Eye Strain Causes, Symptoms, Relief & Prevention

The prolonged use of computers, Laptop, Tablet, cell phone can cause a wide array of eye or vision related problems. This condition of vision related problems is known as computer vision syndrome or digital eye syndrome. If you spend an extended period of time viewing digital screens, you are bound to experience some vision problems or eye discomfort which increases with the passage of time if you continue using the computer screen.

A great number of harmful effects are linked with the increased use of digital devices. Though there are several precautions that can be taken such as best blue light blocking glasses; people have turned a deaf ear to them.

Let us learn the perils of computer vision syndrome and ways to prevent it.

What causes eye strain from computers

There is no one particular cause of computereye strain or straightjacket behaviour that may be connected with digital eye strain. You will suffer irritation or discomfort in reading or viewing things due to a number of factors.

We know that the screens of our computers or phones or other smart devices emit a blue light which also known as high energy visible light (HEV). This light is a big cause of computer related eye strain and this light emitted by digital devices augment the vision problem more than the colours having longer wavelength. A number of problems may be associated with the HEV light such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration. 

Another cause of Digital Eye Strain is those small print and pixelated images displayed on the digital devices. These images are difficult to read and we may have to strain our eyes to focus on them. We may also be using digital devices by keeping them too close or too far from our eyes. 

In case of adults who are already wearing prescription glasses the risk of digital eye strain is more. This condition is aggravated in such people because the corrective lenses they wear often not allow them to see the mid-distance range of computer screens.

In most of the cases, digital eye strain ups the ante for people who have to expend their visual abilities for fulfilling the visual demands of the work. In other words, the strain happens when visual demands of the task require efforts more than a person’s visual abilities can give.

People who spend more than two hours at a computer or digital screen everyday are extremely likely to develop Digital Eye Strain.

Digital Eye Strain is also caused by anyone of these factors or a combination of them:

  • inadequate lighting
  • glare on a digital screen
  • incorrect viewing distances
  • poor seating posture
  • uncorrected vision problems

Computer eye strain symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain

How to protect eyes from computer?

The first and foremost step to reduce Digital eye strain is by reducing the usage of digital media. Avoid relying on your phones or computer for everything when there is an offline alternative. For e.g. many of us read e newspapers even when we can easily get their print copies at our doorstep. Likewise, there are number of other things that we can avoid doing on glare screens.

In other cases where the use of digital screens is inevitable, you can take the following measures:

  • Wear best blue light glasses which have become very popular for reducing digital eye strain. These blue light glasses adjust the distance between eye and intermediate-distance objects. Some of computer blue light glasses come with lenses that deflect the harmful blue light and restrict it from entering the cornea.
  • Reducing glare is a very important factor that can help you prevent computer eye strain. Make sure you have adjusted the brightness of your screen. You can reduce the glare by switching from a bright white background colour to a cooler grey.
  • Keep your distance with the device and position it in such a way that there is sufficient distance between your eyes and the screen. In case of computers, there should be a one-arm distance and the right position will occur when you can place your palm flat on the monitor. For mobile phones and other devices, hold them just below eye level so you can comfortably read the screen.
  • Always adjust your screen and keep it directly in front of your face and a little below eye level.
  • Keep your screen clean because a dust-free screen will help you reduce glare.
  • Dim the surrounding lights because when a lesser light competes with your device’s screen, it will scale down the glare. 

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