Find More Comfort While Working Digitally
Canadians spend almost 11 hours a day on digital devices and all of that screen time can lead to uncomfortable eyes, headaches, and even aching shoulders. Digital eye strain, also called computer vision syndrome, may be a result of your eyes working harder to view a screen or could be caused by an uncorrected vision problem.
During a comprehensive one-on-one eye exam, we can help get to the bottom of your symptoms and identify whether you need an updated prescription, treatment for dry eyes, or an adjustment to your workspace. Please book an appointment to discuss digital eye strain today.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain isn’t typically serious, but it can be an uncomfortable burden on your workday and your personal time. The following symptoms can all be signs of digital eye strain:
- Tired eyes
- Dry eyes
- Blurry vision
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Watery eyes or extra tears
- Light sensitivity
- Sore, itchy, or burning eyes
Many of these symptoms are similar to those of more serious eye conditions, so it’s important to have an optometrist evaluate your eyes to check their health.
What Is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain can happen when your eyes work overtime while viewing screens. This happens both because the screens are lower in contrast than printed materials and because the blue light they emit is harder for the eyes to focus. Additionally, if your current prescription isn’t suited to the computer work you do, you might feel the strain in your neck, shoulders, and back as you try to accommodate with an adjusted posture.
Between 50% and 90% of adults experience some symptoms from their use of digital devices—and children aren’t immune from similar effects. The Canadian Association of Optometrists states that children’s increased screen time also comes with a rise in obesity rates, poor sleep quality, and potential delays in learning. The CAO recommends that digital device use in children be very limited to prevent these negative outcomes.
Combating Digital Eye Strain
Once we determine what’s contributing to your symptoms, we can help you make a plan to relieve your digital eye strain discomfort. This might include an updated prescription to your glasses or contacts, a new pair of reading glasses for close-up work, and simple changes to your workspace.
You may be able to make your workspace more comfortable by trying the following adjustments:
- Position your screen away from bright lights to avoid glare or add an anti-glare screen cover
- Increase your text size to reduce straining
- Take frequent screen breaks
- Try blue-light-blocking glasses
Blinking & the 20-20-20 Rule
Whether you’re watching TV or deep in the flow of a work project, it’s very possible you’re blinking less while using a screen. Remind yourself to blink and consider using preservative-free eye drops to help keep your eyes lubricated during screen time.
The 20-20-20 rule may also help to reduce eye strain. This simply means you should take a break from your screen every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds, giving your eyes a moment to relax.
Discuss Your Digital Eye Strain
If you’re worried about how your digital device use impacts your eyes, book an appointment with Sheppard Leslie Optometry today and talk it over with your optometrist.
- 1110 Sheppard Ave E., Unit 400
- North York, ON M2K2W2
- Phone: 416.733.4411
- Email: [email protected]
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
- Saturday: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
Note: Saturday hours are once per month. Please call to confirm.
Our practice is located in Oriole Place Medical and Professional Offices near North York General Hospital, easily serviced by the Sheppard subway line.