Digital eye strain affects many people who spend long hours in front of digital screens. This can include computers, smartphones, tablets, and television screens. Here’s an overview on what causes digital eye strain and how you can mitigate the risks and protect your eyes.
The primary cause of digital eye strain is blue light. This is emitted by digital screens and has a shorter wavelength than other colours, which means it causes glare. Spending too much time on screens can lead to eye strain, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. When we look at digital screens, we tend to blink less frequently, which can cause dry and irritated eyes, leading to further eye strain and discomfort.
How to protect your eyes
- Take a break. It’s important to take breaks from digital screens every twenty minutes or so. This will allow your eyes to rest and prevent them from becoming fatigued.
- Control the brightness of your screen. You can adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen, which will help reduce eye strain. Also, try to position it further away from your eyes.
- Don’t forget to blink! Blinking keeps your eyes lubricated. We tend to blink less when using devices, which can cause dryness.
- Have an eye test. If you do spend a lot of time in front of a screen and are struggling with your vision, it’s time to get an eye test. You may benefit from wearing glasses, or even special lenses that filter blue light.
- Set a time limit. Where possible, limit the amount of time you spend in front of screens. Take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest, and switch to other non-screen activities.
Always consult with your optician if you experience any persistent eye discomfort or vision changes.