Computer Eye Strain: What It Is and How to Prevent It By Monterey County Eye Associates on July 29, 2022

A man in glasses works in front of a computer monitorFrom our phones to our computers, our eyes are frequently focused on a screen that is mere inches away from our faces. As a result, many of us experience painful eye strain that makes living and working more difficult.

Serving Monterey, CA, Salinas, CA, and King City, CA, the ophthalmologists at Monterey County Eye Associates offer comprehensive eye care. Whether you’re experiencing eye strain or other vision problems, our team can help you get the healthy, clear vision that you deserve.

If you experience frequent vision problems after using screens for several hours, then you might be suffering from computer eye strain. Here, our team explains what computer eye strain is, how to soothe it, and how to prevent it in the future.

What Is Computer Eye Strain?

Computer eye strain is a condition in which extended screen time leads to various vision and eye problems. Symptoms may include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dry and itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Teary eyes
  • Eye fatigue or discomfort
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches

The condition is also referred to as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. Computer eye strain may worsen under certain conditions, including:

  • Spending hours in front of a phone, computer, or TV screen without sufficient breaks
  • Sitting too close to a digital screen
  • Viewing screens from an unsuitable angle
  • Untreated eye issues, such as myopia and cataracts
  • A history of dry eye
  • Poor posture while working at a computer

Discussing your digital screen habits with our ophthalmologists during a routine exam will help us determine if you might be suffering from computer eye strain.

How Do I Soothe Computer Eye Strain?

The best way to soothe digital eye strain is to limit screen time. According to one Nielsen report, the average American spends approximately 11 hours focused on digital screens every day. While there is no agreed-upon limit to screen exposure, many experts believe that adults should limit their screen time to just two hours outside of the workplace. 

Another method to soothe eye strain is to take frequent breaks. Experts recommend adhering to the 20-20-20 rule, which states that patients should take a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise allows the muscles in the eyes to get a break from focusing on close-up images on digital screens.

In addition to frequent breaks, patients should try to blink often while looking at a screen. The act of blinking allows the eyes to rehydrate, which refreshes tired or strained eyes.

How Do I Prevent Computer Eye Strain?

There are several things patients can do to mitigate digital eye strain, such as:

  • Adjust the screen: Sitting at least an arms-length away from a screen at eye level is the optimal position for digital screens.
  • Modify lighting: Bright lighting can overtax our eyes. Avoid fluorescent lighting and adjust the blue-light setting on all monitors. Blue-light filtering glasses may also prevent digital eye strain.
  • Reduce glare: An anti-glare screen on a monitor or phone can significantly reduce computer eye strain.
  • Artificial tears: Prescription and over-the-counter artificial tears can help lubricate dry and tired eyes.

Talk to Us About Eye Strain Today

If you’re suffering from computer eye strain, then contact the team at Monterey County Eye Associates now. We can help you get much-needed relief from tired and stressed eyes.

Send our team a message to schedule your appointment today.

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The team of doctors at Monterey County Eye Associates

Monterey County Eye Associates
Leland H. Rosenblum, MD - MBEC
Eric J. Del Piero, MD

Our team of ophthalmologists provides state-of-the-art eye care using the latest technology. They are proud to be affiliated with: 

  • AAO: American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • ABO: American Board of Ophthalmology

To schedule an appointment, please call us at one of our four ophthalmologist office locations in Monterey, Ryan Ranch, Salinas, and King City, or contact us online.

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