Digital eye strain: what you need to know

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Computers are essential to our everyday life. Between sending emails at work, making sure your Instagram is up to date and checking your Facebook at home, and ordering your shopping online, we spend a lot of our day in front of a screen But all of this time spent staring at our computers, including our tablets and smartphones, inevitably takes its toll on our eyes and will more often than not lead to a condition known as digital eye strain.

Here, we give you the facts about digital eye strain, and how to minimize its effects.

What is digital eyestrain?

As the name suggests, digital eye strain is the physical discomfort felt in your eyes that is usually experienced after looking at a digital screen for more than two hours at a close to mid-range distance.

Symptoms can be diverse and varied, but typically digital eye strain will present itself in much the same way as eye fatigue.

So if you suddenly find that your eyes are very dry or very watery, or they have become more sensitive to light after a couple of hours in front of a screen, the chances are that they’re feeling the strain.


What causes digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain has a number of different causes but one of the most problematic is the blue light emitted from the screens of computers.

This blue light can penetrate further than other wavelengths all the way to the back of the eye. Therefore, as well as causing headaches and eye fatigue, blue light can damage the retina which has been linked to to the development of eye diseases including macular degeneration.

How can I protect myself against it?

Fortunately, there are a number of different ways that you can help minimize the effects of digital eye strain.

Many are simple, like implementing the 20-20-20 rule, but these can take time to form into habits and do not offer your retina any protection.

So the best way to fully combat digital eye strain is to invest in a pair of glasses that are designed to help reduce the amount of blue light that makes its way into your eyes.