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Digital Eye Strain

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Digital Eye Strain is Becoming Increasingly Common in Our Technocentric Society

What is Digital Eye Strain?

If you have experienced temporary discomfort after 2 or more hours of digital screen use, you’ve experienced digital eye strain first hand. The following devices can cause digital eye strain:

  • Televisions
  • Smartphones
  • E-readers
  • Tablets
  • Desktop and laptop computers
  • Any other device with a digital display

There isn’t one direct cause for digital eye strain. It is generally caused by the combination of small print, pixelated images, and glare. Our eyes have to strain to be able to focus on these images and the small text.

There is also the potential that you are holding your devices at the wrong angle or too close/far for your eyes to focus with ease.

Recent research has shown that the blue light emitting from digital devices is another potential cause of digital eye strain. You can purchase eyeglasses with a special coating to filter this harsh blue light out, as well as download applications that filter it from the display.

  • There are a number of methods you can incorporate into your daily life to reduce the strain on your eyes while using digital devices.

    • Adjust Your Screen Settings – Black text on a white background is the easiest color combination for our eyes when reading text on digital displays. If you find the text is too small, you most likely will have a setting on your device that will allow you to increase its size. Having your display text be 3 times the size that you can read from your normal viewing position is a good starting point.


    • Keep Your Distance – Resting Point of Accommodation (RPA). This is the distance your eyes need to focus comfortably. By keeping your devices at a certain distance, the average being 31 inches for most people, you can greatly reduce the strain you experience from prolonged periods of use.


    • Make Use of Proper Lighting – When you use your digital devices, the ambient lighting should be approximately half as bright as that typically found in most offices. Excessively bright light exacerbates digital eye strain.

Wear Specially Designed Eyeglasses – Recent studies have shown that prolonged exposure to harsh blue light emitted from most displays has the potential to harm the retina.

Lens manufacturers have now developed a special coating for eyeglass lenses that blocks these harmful blue light rays. In addition, there is also an anti-reflective (AR) coating available that can be applied to your lenses to reduce the glare caused by your digital devices and the surrounding surfaces.  

More Information About Digital Eye Strain

The most common symptoms of digital eye strain may present as a combination of one or more of the following:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Headache
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Neck, back or shoulder pain
  • Blurry vision

Your eyes are your window to the beautiful world around you. Why risk damaging your vision if you don’t have to? While digital eyestrain won’t cause immediate damage, we believe in being proactive about your overall eye health.

If you are experiencing digital eye strain, we invite you to make a few changes to your life to reduce the effort placed on your eyes.

As with any eye condition, early detection and prevention is key to maintaining excellent vision for years to come. Regular eye exams are the best way to keep your eye health in check.

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