How Is Digital Technology Affecting Your Eyes?

No matter if it is for work or to pass the time, many Americans spend countless hours watching television, scrolling on their smartphones, typing on their computers, or reading on their tablets. Our dependence on technology continues to grow, and soon, we will be permanently connected. With technology being so readily available, you have to walk away or remove yourself from a screen purposely.

Even with constant exposure, most people are oblivious to the effects of prolonged technology use on their eyes. Below are some common vision problems that can occur from too much screen time:

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome otherwise referred to as Digital Eye Strain, is a group of vision-related problems that result from prolonged use of digital devices. Having eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens are becoming more common for many individuals. The level of discomfort tends to increase with the amount of digital screen use. In most cases, symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome occur because the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the individual needed to perform them.

Computer Vision Syndrome can be detected and diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. In some cases, individuals who do not need eyeglasses for daily life may benefit from glasses prescribed specifically for computer use. Although not all eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions will be adequate for computer work and a unique prescription for computer work may be required. Also, there are a few ways you can help reduce your risk of Computer Vision Syndrome, such as adjusting the screen lighting and blinking more.

Chronic Dry Eye

Did you know, the human eye under normal conditions blinks around 12-15 times per minute? However, when you are focused on a screen, your blink rate decreases significantly to around 7-8 blinks per minute. In fact, many blinks performed when working behind a screen are only partial blinks. Since blinking prevents dryness and irritation by lubricating your eyes, only blinking half the time behind a screen can reduce the moisture in your eyes. The reduced moisture can result in Chronic Dry Eye.

If your eyes feel “gritty” or “scratchy” after prolonged device use, call ProMedica Physicians ProMedica Physicians Vision Associates to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Our eye doctors will thoroughly examine your eyes to determine if the dryness is from excessive screen time, an underlying disease, or another abnormality. In some cases, artificial tears or dry eye drops may be prescribed for use during the day.

If you are constantly working with technology, having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the best thing you can do to help prevent or treat existing digital vision problems. At ProMedica Physicians ProMedica Physicians Vision Associates, our doctors thoroughly examine your eyes and look for any underlying vision problems. To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, call ProMedica Physicians ProMedica Physicians Vision Associates at 567-236-8161 (Toledo) or 419-354-3926 (Bowling Green).


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