Nov - 21 - 2017

How to Get Rid of Digital Eye Strain

You’ve experienced it before. Staring at your computer screen your field of vision goes a bit blurry, you feel a heaviness and burning around the edges of your eyes, and your focus is out the window. Your eyes are tired, you are tired, and you have a headache. All of these are symptoms of the condition identified by the mayo clinic as Digital Eye Strain (“DES”), also known as Computer Vision Syndrome. There are many things that cause DES which means there are many solutions. Here are some of the top tips below:

  1. Over-Exposure to Blue Light: Blue light, the highest energy light visible to the human eye, is produced in nature by the sun. In our Digital Age, however, every digital device produces high energy Blue Light in abundance. Because its wavelengths are the shortest they are sent to the eye in a “flickering” fashion, which may cause irritation and fatigue of the retina. You can protect yourself from Blue Light by wearing Blue Light Filtering Glasses.
  2. Non-Ergonomic Position of Digital Devices: Because of the inverse square law, the closer we are to a source of light the stronger the intensity of that light. This intensity, however, does not increase incrementally but rather exponentially. The exposure to blue light and intensity of the brightness in general can be incredibly fatiguing if we are too close to a screen. It is recommended to position ourselves at least 20-40 inches away from a digital device during use.
  3. Micro-muscular Fatigue: If you’ve ever completed the exercise of holding a glass of water at arms’ length to demonstrate how muscular fatigue sets in over time then you easily understand how this muscular fatigue works. While we may be able to lift a hundred pounds in a controlled manner, it is the small support muscles than are not often engaged which make the extended holding of the glass so difficult as time passes. In the same way, the muscles in our eyes become fatigued when we focus intently upon a single point for extended periods of time during a computer use session. We recommend practicing the 20/20/20 rule to give your eyes a rest! Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  4. Decreased Blink Rate: Blinking is crucial to giving our eyes a rest as well as to lubricate the surface of the eye and preserve the tear barrier– protecting our eyes from the air. Recent research suggests that our blink rate may slow because our eyes don’t blink while processing information. While we aren’t totally sure of the cause, we do know for a fact that the blink rate decreases by as much as 80%! Using eye drops during prolonged screen usage can help to combat the lowered blink rate by prompting more frequent blinking as well as providing additional moisture to the eye.

Digital Eye Strain is not only uncomfortable but can also disrupt your sleep and limit your productivity. Taking the above steps is a great start to changing the way you consume light to optimize your health in our digitally addicted age.

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