The digital age has made our lives easier in so many ways, but it also comes with its problems. Many people come home after a day of computer work feeling tired, sore, and unfocused. This is due to a condition called digital eye strain.
Your eyes use muscles to focus on objects at various distances. When you’re focusing on a single distance all day, those muscles start to get tired.
Think of it this way: If you had to hold a golf ball straight up in the air, you wouldn’t really think anything of it. But after a little while, your arms would start to get tired, and the golf ball would feel heavier and heavier. If you held your arm up long enough, it could start to really hurt.
That’s basically what happens with digital eye strain; your eye muscles get tired of holding the same focus point for hours at a time.
Staring at a computer screen all day is really no different from staring at a book, right? So why is this just an issue for digital displays?
The answer is that digital displays emit a certain frequency of light called blue light. Blue light is very scattered, and your eyes have a tough time getting it to focus. As a result, your eyes have to work extra hard to make sense of what they’re seeing, causing them to get tired even faster.
Sure, it seems obvious. But did you know that people only tend to blink 5 times a minute when on the computer? That’s less than half of the normal rate (12 blinks per minute). Reduced blinking can cause your eyes to dry out and aggravate your symptoms.
Making sure the conditions are right for computer work could go a long way to improving your work day. Make sure your screen is an arm’s length away from your face, 15% to 20% below eye level. Keep your screen free from dust, fingerprints, and glare if at all possible.
Remember how your eye muscles get tired of holding the same position? Give them a little bit of rest every 20 minutes by choosing an object that’s 20 feet away, and staring at it for 20 seconds. We call this the 20/20/20 rule and it’s sort of like the ocular equivalent of stretching your legs.
We offer special lens coatings that filter out some of the blue light your display emits. This allows your eyes to relax a little bit more and helps reduce eye strain.
Since digital displays aren’t going anywhere and our bodies can’t evolve fast enough to keep up with technology, the best way to avoid digital eye strain is through a few small environmental and behavioural adjustments. Here are some strategies you can use to help prevent digital eye strain.
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