Are Digital Devices Causing You Digital Eye Strain?

We are all guilty of staring at our computer screens, smartphones, video games, televisions, e-readers or other digital devices for long periods of time. Technology is not going away. Let’s discuss how it affects your eyes!

Patients of Kelly Vision Center often complain of eye fatigue, dry eyes, and discomfort. Digital eyestrain is also referred to as computer vision syndrome. The screens themselves do not cause these digital eye strain symptoms. All devices emit blue light that can cause eye strain and may lead to eye problems over time. The high-energy visible (HEV) light wavelengths can cause irritation and possible long-term damage to the retina. Blue light also suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin, causing an artificial feeling of wakefulness and disrupting sleep patterns, which can add to eyestrain. The young eyes of children absorb more blue light than adults. The main concern is because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them.

Follow these five steps to avoid digital eyestrain:

Take frequent breaks

This is the best way to prevent eyestrain. Stop regularly to let your eyes rest from looking at the screen. Remember the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes that you’re looking at a screen, look away from the computer at an object at 20 feet away or further for 20 seconds or more.

Minimize glare

Install anti-glare filters on your laptop or computer monitor. Anti-reflective lenses on eyeglasses can absorb some of the blue light and limit how much reaches the retina and into the central nerve of the eye. Keep sunlight from reflecting off of your digital device to avoid extra glare.


Blinking helps keep your eyes from becoming dry and irritated. Studies show that people blink far less often than they normally would when in front of a device. Remember to take regular breaks and blink slowly. This will help moisten your eyes and prevent dryness.

Get exams

The best way to prevent or manage eye strain is by having regular comprehensive eye exams at Kelly Vision Center. Let your doctor know how much time you spending working on digital devices. Let them when what your office setup is like and how close you sit to your computer screen.

Step away

Your eyes are working the hardest when you are viewing something very close. Sitting too close to your computer screen or holding your cell phone very near to your face can also cause vision problems.

Symptoms in children are becoming more common as they are acquiring cell phones at younger ages and are using them more frequently. Blue light is able to penetrate much more efficiently and directly into the retina of children. Kids can wear non-prescription blue-light lenses to help protect their eyes. Playing outside and getting sunlight is very healthy for the eyes and whole body.

When you use your digital devices, use them wisely and smartly! Ask questions about computer vision syndrome during your annual eye exam at Kelly Vision Center.

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