Conquer Digital Eye Strain: Tips for Screen Time Survival

a tired woman with digital eye strain

Photo by Yan Krukau

We all love our digital devices.  Laptops, tablets, and smartphones keep us connected, informed, and entertained. But there’s a downside to all this screen time: digital eye strain. This condition, also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), affects millions of people who spend extended hours staring at digital screens.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain is a collection of eye and vision-related problems caused by prolonged use of digital devices.  Symptoms can include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Difficulty focusing

These symptoms arise from the way our eyes focus on digital screens compared to physical objects.  Unlike a book or a distant object, digital screens emit flickering light and require constant near focusing, which can strain the focusing muscles in your eyes.

man wearing computer glasses

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Combating Digital Eye Strain: Simple Strategies

The good news is that digital eye strain is easily preventable and manageable. Here are some simple strategies to help you conquer screen time fatigue:

  • The 20-20-20 Rule: This classic technique is a great way to give your eyes a break.  Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen for 20 seconds and focus on an object at least 20 feet away.
  • Blink More Often: When we stare at screens, our blink rate naturally decreases.  This can lead to dry eyes.  Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently to keep your eyes lubricated.
  • Adjust Screen Brightness and Contrast: Dim screens are easier on the eyes.  Reduce the brightness of your device and adjust the contrast for a more comfortable viewing experience.
  • Night Shift Mode: Many devices offer a “night shift” mode that reduces blue light emissions in the evening.  Blue light can disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to eye strain, so utilizing this feature at night can be beneficial.
  • Proper Posture: Maintaining good posture is important for overall health and can also help reduce eye strain.  Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your screen at an arm’s length away.

optometrist dispensing glasses

Optimize Your Eyewear for Digital Life

Beyond taking breaks and practicing good habits, there are ways to optimize your eyewear for digital life.  Consider these options:

  • Blue Light Blocking Glasses: These glasses have a special coating that filters out blue light, potentially reducing eye strain. Learn about Zenni’s selection of blue light blocking glasses to discover how they can help alleviate digital eye strain.
  • Computer Glasses: Computer glasses have a slightly different prescription than your regular glasses to optimize focus for near distances.
  • Anti-Reflective Coating: An anti-reflective coating on your lenses can reduce glare from screens, making them more comfortable to view for extended periods.

Eye Care is Self-Care

Digital eye strain is a common but manageable condition.  By incorporating these simple tips and strategies  into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce eye fatigue and discomfort, allowing you to enjoy screen time comfortably.  Remember, taking care of your eyes is an essential part of self-care.  So give your eyes a break, adjust your habits, and consider Zenni’s wide variety of stylish and affordable glasses to find the perfect pair for conquering digital eye strain!

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Alyssa Buchanan

Dr. Alyssa Buchanan is an optometrist based in Lubbock, Texas. She received her doctorate from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, and has practiced in various settings including Fort Cavazos where she provided eye care for deploying soldiers. Dr. Buchanan has since received her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and continues to strive to provide top-notch eyecare and make a meaningful impact in the eyecare industry.