Can a Looking at a Computer Screen Really Damage Your Eyes?  

Many people use digital screens in their lives today. Whether it’s sitting at a computer for hours at a time at work or using a tablet at home to play games, people are using digital screens more than ever.

It’s believed that the average working adult in America spends seven hours a day on the computer, whether they’re at home or in the office. With that much time spent looking at digital screens, it’s no wonder people worry about their sight.

Can Looking at a Computer Screen Really Damage Your Eyes?

A common question people have is if their eyesight will be damaged by using computer screens so often. The truth is that for most people, the impact on their sight will be temporary. However, some may see a permanent change in their vision.

The most common result of using digital devices too often is Computer Vision Syndrome. This may also be known as digital eye strain or CVS. This condition has several interesting symptoms such as:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Blurry vision

What Causes Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain can be caused by:

  • Poor lighting around a computer screen
  • Glare on a screen
  • Uncorrected underlying vision problems
  • Poor posture
  • Improper viewing distances

Computers also put off blue light. Blue light is not easily blocked by the eyes, which means that the light reaches the retina instead of refracting back outward. Blue light is a known contributor to digital eye strain and can potentially harm the eyes.

What Can You Do to Avoid Digital Eye Strain?

The American Optometric Association has wonderful tips for avoiding eye strain caused by using these devices. One of them is to use the 20-20-20 rule.

With the 20-20-20 rule, the goal is to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes. When you do, you should look at something that is at least 20 feet away.

Remember that your computer or device causes the eyes to work harder than usual, as a result, you may develop visual symptoms if you don’t take breaks regularly.

How Is Digital Eye Strain Diagnosed?

Digital eye strain is diagnosed by looking at:

  • The patient’s history
  • Visual acuity measurements
  • Eye tests to see how the eyes move, work or focus together
  • Refraction testing

What Can You Do to Treat Digital Eye Strain?

If you do have digital eye strain, the good news is that it can be treated. There are several ways that eye strain can be treated, including:

  • Wearing computer glasses that filter blue light
  • Properly positioning yourself to view the computer screen easily
  • Taking rest breaks
  • Wearing prescription contacts or glasses with tints
  • Blinking frequently
  • Using anti-glare screens
  • Improving the lighting around a screen
  • Vision therapy

If you’re dealing with blurry vision or eye strain, don’t wait to seek help. At the Toledo Clinic Vision Associates, we can help you with a vision test to diagnose digital eye strain and give you tips to recover. To set up an appointment, call us today at 419-578-2020.

 

 

Sources

https://www.aoa.org/documents/infographics/SYVM2016Infographics.pdf

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome