Digital eye strain also known as computer vision syndrome, encompasses a number of visual issues, from discomfort to dry eye, caused by the use of digital devices.
In other words, eye strain is the discomfort caused by using computers, tablets, and phones.
Around 90% of people who spend more than 3 hours per day using a digital device, including children, will experience some degree of eye strain.
This is because our eyes weren’t designed to do the same, repetitive activities for hours on end.
When we do, our eyes grow tired and strained, just like any other muscle in our body would after repeated use.
Our eyes exert extra focusing effort when we use digital devices.
It can happen to anyone who uses a digital device for extended periods of time whether you’re checking work emails on your tablet, scrolling Facebook on your phone, or playing video games on your PC.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU HAVE DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
There are a number of different symptoms of digital eye strain as well as factors that can increase your risk.
Many people with digital eye strain will experience some or all of the following symptoms.
- Dry eyes
- Difficulty focusing
- Drowsiness or heavy eyelids
- Sore or itchy eyes
- Sore neck or shoulders
- Blurry or double vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Using a digital device for 3 hours or more per day
- Having your computer or another digital device closer than an arm’s length away from your face
- Dim lighting or excessively bright lighting or glare when using your digital device
It’s important to discuss these factors with your optometrist as well as what activities you commonly use your digital device for.
Discussing your use habits will help your optometrist determine whether your symptoms are from digital eye strain or a more serious condition.
THE LINK BETWEEN EYE STRAIN & DRY EYE
Dry eye is a common symptom of eye strain. One study found that 27.2% of people experiencing eye strain reported dry eye as one of their symptoms.