“Digital Eyestrain”


Nowadays, everybody (toddlers to senior citizens) uses gadgets. It is already part of our rapidly changing world. But excessive use of gadgets will lead to digital eyestrain. It consists of groups of eye problems that usually arise from the use of gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktops, and televisions. Some factors cause digital eyestrain. Poor lighting (when the room is too dark), glare that comes from the gadgets, distance from your eyes to the screen, sitting posture and uncorrected refractive errors (myopia/nearsightedness, hyperopia/farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia). The common symptoms of digital eyestrain are headache, doubling of vision, redness, excessive tearing, blurring of vision after use of gadgets, burning sensation, eyelid spasm (twitching of eyelids) and even neck pain.

There are several kinds of lenses available in eye or optical clinics or even online, but remember, it is not a “one size fits all” kind of thing, because every person has different requirements. One must undergo a CEE (comprehensive eye exam) from a registered Optometrist because appropriate tests are usually done to best manage this eye problem. More tips on how to reduce digital eyestrain will be discussed in the next article.

Since digital de vices rely on the sense of vision and are widespread in modern society, used mainly for work and leisure, it has been taken for granted and underestimated. If the displays are seen unclearly, physical discomfort (neck and back pain) and visual discomfort (eyestrain, dry and itchy eyes, headache, blurred vision at near) arise and the ability to focus can also be affected. Using these devices does not have to be a pain in the neck.

To achieve and maintain a clear and comfortable vision, we have to ensure that the device is set-up correctly. The following should be observed when using the digital device. Proper distance from the device to the eyes (by placing your fist to your chin to your elbow on the device, this is called the Harmon distance and is the ideal distance), proper posture (sitting straight, head back, ears, shoulders, hips aligned, elbows slightly positioned more than 90 degrees bend), use a full spectrum lighting, adjust brightness of screen and size of text for comfort (no squinting or leaning toward the screen), take frequent eye breaks (every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds), wear protective eyeglasses (with or without eye grade) that filters the harmful bluelight and glare that the screen emits and try to blink at least 15-20 times per minute to lubricate the surface of your eyes or put eye lubricants.

It is important to have a regular comprehensive eye examination (CEE) from a registered Optometrist so that they will recommend an appropriate spectacle lens that suits best for your visual needs to attain maximum visual comfort.