Many people spend long periods of time looking at their phones, tablets, computer monitors, and televisions. After all, modern jobs often require people to focus on screens for several hours per day.
On top of this, many people rely on digital media or TV to relax after work. Therefore, there is little respite for the eyes.
Keep reading to learn more about the main causes and symptoms of computer eye strain, as well as some exercises and treatment options for relieving it.
Viewing digital screens for long periods of time can make a person’s eyes work harder than usual. This can put the eyes under strain, which may lead to the development of vision problems.
As the American Optometric Association explain, the eyes are under greater strain when we view screens versus when we read printed words on a page.
This is partly because the letters on many screens are not as sharply defined as printed letters. It is also because many screens have less contrast than the printed page, and because they are affected by reflection and glare.
All of this can make a person’s eyes work extra hard when reading words on a screen.
Other factors also can contribute to computer eye strain. For example, some people view screens from inappropriate distances and angles. This can lead to the adoption of uncomfortable and tense postures, especially if the person has underlying vision problems.
Additionally, one review notes that people’s blinking rate drops dramatically when viewing screens.
However, blinking is an important biological function that keeps the surface of the eyes clean and lubricated. This reduction in blinking may also explain some of the symptoms of computer eye strain.
The following are some of the most common symptoms of computer eye strain:
- tired and strained eyes
- eye discomfort
- dry, irritated, or burning eyes
- blurred vision when viewing screens or looking into the distance
- difficulty refocusing the eyes
- sensitivity to bright lights
- neck and shoulder pain