If you spend a lot of time behind a computer and/or other digital devices for hours each day, there is a good chance at some point you will experience some level of digital eye strain. Digital eye strain can have implications that range from temporary and minor, to longer lasting and serious problems such as contributing towards the development of macular degeneration or cataracts.
More than 9 out of 10 adults spend at least two hours every day using a digital device, with more than 60 percent spending five hours or more on digital tools daily. Whether it’s for fun or work, using tablets and e-readers, smartphones, computers, video games, or TV can cause damage to the eyes resulting in digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain occurs after two hours or more in front of a digital screen. It is also linked to the near to mid-range placement of digital screens, including laptop and desktop computers, cell phones, e-readers, and tablets. Everyone averages about 18 blinks per minute throughout their daily routine. However, spending a significant amount of time viewing a digital screen causes reduced blink rates, producing itchy, burning, or dry eyes.
The resting point of accommodation (RPA) is the distance where your eyes focus. The average RPA for most people is around 31 inches. However, the majority of individuals are considerably closer than that to their digital devices. As a result, your eyes strain to remain focused, particularly on handheld digital devices because the words are much smaller, requiring your eyes to work harder to focus. Your eyes work to the point of fatigue because they are constantly exerting concentration.
Issues commonly associated with over-exposure to digital devices:
- Eye Strain
- Dry Eyes
- Blurred Vision
- Neck/shoulder/back pain
A lot can be done to help with digital eye strain from simple adjustments to lifestyle and ergonomics changes, to more advanced treatment options which we offer. Often, we prescribe special glasses designed for computer usage, and we frequently need to treat for other associated symptoms such as dry eyes. To find out more about your specific situation, or to see if you have digital eye strain and how we might be able to help you, schedule your appointment today!