The Reality of Computer Eye Strain: Definition, Symptoms, and Solutions
Did you know that more than half of adults in the United States spend at least six hours a day – every day – on smartphones, tablets, or computers? And, according to a Harvard medical study, it is having a serious impact on our health. They call it digital eye strain. But what exactly is eye strain? And how do we know if we have it? Will computer eye strain glasses shield you from blue light screens? Here we will examine computer eye strain, its symptoms, as well as its solutions.
What is Computer Eye Strain?
It may not seem like it, but we all use artificial blue light quite a bit. Whether you work 9 to 5 in front of a computer screen, binge your favorite TV shows each night, browse social media on your phone, or text and email with loved ones – you likely spend a good portion of your day looking at blue light screens. This artificial light consists of a shorter wavelength and higher energy than soft light and is, therefore, harder on the eyes. Blue light can cause eye fatigue without you even noticing! While staring at your computer screen at work won’t cause permanent damage, it will cause your eyes to feel tired and dry each day. You may develop blurry vision, fatigue or eye strain.
The human eye blinks about 15 times every minute. But, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, studies show that we blink one-third to half that amount while using digital platforms! Extended reading, writing, or other intensive “near work” using artificial blue light (such as video games) can also cause computer eye strain.
What Does Computer Eye Strain Feel Like?
Computer eye strain is characterized by tired, itching, and burning eyes. It is often associated with the following annoying, uncomfortable symptoms:
- Sore or irritated eyes
- Difficulty focusing
- Dry or watery eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- A headache or brow-ache
Why Eye Strain is a Real Concern
While the effects of blue light and computer eye strain may seem relatively harmless, it’s nothing to brush off. A Harvard medical study shows that long-term use without protection or caution has the potential of causing some serious health concerns. In fact, the study states, “High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light has been identified for years as the most dangerous light for the retina. After chronic exposure, one can expect to see long-range growth in the number of eye diseases including macular degenerations, glaucomas, and retinal degenerative diseases.”
While our eyes have natural filters, they can’t compete with overexposure. Our eyes, hair, nails, and skin all contain melanin, the body’s natural “sunscreen” to absorb harmful UV and blue light rays. But, as we age, we lose melanin. By around age 65, half of our natural protection is gone.
By this age, most of us have also already developed Presbyopia – a condition that disrupts our ability to focus at different distances and makes it hard to see something as close as a smartphone screen.
Seeing a Clear Solution
Since the digital age is upon us and doesn’t seem to be fading away, it’s important to seek alternative solutions to prevent and ease computer eye strain. Many experts recommend the following tips:
- Follow the 20/20/20 rule. This method involves looking away from your computer or digital device every 20 minutes for 20 seconds about 20 feet away. This is said to help the eyes refocus and avoid computer eye strain.
- Avoid using digital screens at least one hour before hitting the hay. Don’t browse through your phone from bed. The blue light is more likely to keep you looking (and awake) longer!
- Invest in a pair of UZOOM Screen Protect. Adlens offers reading lenses that block 30 percent of blue light exposure. Adjustable focus, blue light blocking glasses can protect the eyes while using computers, smartphones or tablets, or even watching TV.
By reducing blue light exposure, UZOOM Screen Protect reading glasses prevent against digital eye strain and allow you to focus clearly at a distance and up close. Whether you are watching TV, perusing your newsfeed, or invested in computer work, UZOOM Screen Protect can put you in control of your vision and reading strength. Learn more or shop UZOOM computer reading glasses online.