Is screen time causing eye strain?

Jan 12, 2021


Are you feeling the effects of screen time?  Between our smartphones, tablets, and computers we are spending an increasing amount of time in front screens each day.  And with remote learning and Zoom work meetings, many of us are finding ourselves on our devices even more.

You may notice an increase in headaches and eyestrain.  Digital Eye Strain, also called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), may be responsible for these symptoms.  Other common symptoms include blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck or shoulder pain.  These symptoms may be exacerbated by certain environmental factors, which can include glare from the digital screen, improper distance from the device, uncorrected vision, poor lighting, poor posture, and prolonged duration of device use.  

Digital devices have a different visual demand on our eyes compared to printed text.  The visual demand is determined by certain factors, like the resolution of the image, the amount of glare from the screen, and the contrast between the image and the background.  

Eye exams can help to determine if glasses will be beneficial for viewing digital devices.  Certain uncorrected vision problems, such as farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia can result in an increase in CVS symptoms.  Other issues, including focusing or eye coordination problems often cause these symptoms as well.  For some individuals, even if their vision is clear, their eyes may not work together well as a team or they may have trouble focusing and relaxing their eyes to accommodate different tasks.  At the Optical Centre, we can check for all of these eye conditions as well as many other health conditions.  

Prescription glasses can help some people focus more easily on their devices.  Certain lenses can reduce eye strain by effectively transferring the workload from your eyes to the glasses.  Using glasses does not result in dependence on glasses and will not weaken the eyes in any way.  Anti-reflective coatings are important to include on your lenses to alleviate CVS symptoms by reducing the amount of glare that enters the eye.  

Here are some other ways to relieve eye strain

  • The 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, looking 20 feet away.  The idea behind this rule is that it enables the eyes to relax momentarily.  
  • For every 2 hours of device use, take a 15 minute break.  
  • Improve screen location. Ideally, your computer screen should be viewed from about 20 inches away and should be slightly below eye level by about 5 inches.  
  • You can eliminate excessive glare from the screen by adjusting your room’s lighting and avoiding direct sunlight.  
  • Blink!  We tend to blink less while using screens, so incorporating frequent blinks can help lubricate your eyes.   

We are here to make sure your eyes are healthy and comfortable in our digital world!

Come visit our optical to see all of the great lens options available. You can schedule your eye exam today by phone or online. 

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At Optical Centre, Inc you will receive only the highest quality eye exam with our eye doctor in the Longmont, CO and surrounding areas. Call us at 303-772-6650 or schedule an appointment online with our highly trained optometrist in Longmont. The next time you need an eye exam be sure to visit the Optical Centre, Inc where we always put the care of you and your family first.


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Longmont, CO, 80501