If you work on a computer or spend a lot of time on a tablet or smartphone keeping up with social media, your eyes could be experiencing too much stress over your waking hours. Please book an appointment with us to see how your eyes are faring with your current levels of screen time.
Just like repeatedly lifting boxes with poor technique can injure your back, 40 hours of office work looking at a computer screen can subject your eyes to repetitive stress — because it results from prolonged computer use without sufficient breaks or screen-eye positioning.
When it comes to lifting boxes, ergonomics, the art of keeping your body in the right working positions becomes vital. The same goes for your eyes. Digital eye strain comes from prolonged computer screen use.
Your eyeball attaches to muscles coming from your skull, which, when focusing on one spot, get strained. You might not even notice these muscles tensing, but the effects can build up after prolonged periods.
Your eyes are complex biological machines. When one part of the machine is overworked, other components are affected. If your eye muscles are struggling, it can result in several symptoms:
Many of the symptoms of digital eye strain do trace back to watching your screen like a hawk. Text on a screen is not as defined and exact as text on a page. Struggling to focus on this text in conjunction with glare and reflections add to the repetitive stress on the muscles that control your eyes and iris.
According to the University of Iowa, people blink approximately 66% less when using a screened digital device. This can result in dry eyes, a condition with unpleasant irritation, pain, and other symptoms. These uncomfortable symptoms intensify if dry eyes and digital eye strain occur together.
Digital display screens emit a lot of white light, and a major part of that white light mixture is the blue light. This particular frequency on the visible light spectrum scatters more when it hits the gasses in the air. Scattering light can be a challenge for the eye to process, and this wavelength can negatively affect your eye in the long term.
While not technically dangerous, the blue light from digital displays is a high-energy frequency (high-energy visible, or HEV) that can also have other effects. Your brain is hardwired to release waking chemicals while blocking melatonin, to shake drowsiness when it detects blue light.
Combine repetitive stress with insufficient rest (especially at night), and your eye muscles can struggle with getting much-needed relaxation. Try using night mode or dark mode themes on your phone, especially at night. You should also try conscious eye relaxation techniques like the 20/20/20 rule, until you find one that works for you
For even more protection, ask us about blue-light filtering lens coatings on our custom lenses!
Many optometrists recommend devotion to the 20-20-20 rule. Whether you’re staring intently at your work screen or your smartphone, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
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