04 May, 2020
For most of us, digital devices have a strong and growing presence in our lives. Computers, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices with visual displays can all cause tired eyes and digital eye strain, or what’s known as ‘computer vision syndrome’.
Computer vision syndrome is the name for a group of eye and vision symptoms that might be experienced as a result of extended periods of viewing digital devices.
These symptoms include eye strain, red or tired eyes, irritation, blurred vision, double vision and headaches.
For most of us, our eyes prefer to focus further than six metres away, so viewing a computer screen at a close distance forces our eyes to work harder. While it’s normal for us to blink about 15 times a minute, studies have shown that we blink far less often while using digital devices resulting in dry, scratchy and red eyes.
Often, the type or font that we are viewing on a digital device can be quite small or unclear, and glare is emitted off the screen from the blue light. The frequency of blue light emitted from LED devices is also being investigated for its long-term effects on the eye and potential impact on altering sleep cycles.
Extended periods of focusing on screens up close results in eye muscles having to exert significant effort to make these objects clear and single. As with any of the muscles in the body they can fatigue and tire out if not given the opportunity to rest and relax occasionally. The muscles which control eye movements and focusing are typically relaxed when we look at objects in the distance, but work hard at near.
It can be hard to remember to rest our eyes, but we should all apply the 20-20-20 rule when spending time on devices. The 20-20-20 rule is shifting your focus to something other than your device every 20 minutes. Then what you focus on should be 20 feet (6 meters) away and you should look at it, for at least 20 seconds.
As well as resting your eyes, there are eyewear solutions that combat blue light emissions from digital devices. TechShield Blue is one such solution which targets blue light wavelengths associated with digital eye strain (400-430nm), reducing exposure by as much as 85% at its peak. Even if you don’t wear glasses, TechShield Blue can be applied to a non-prescription lens and can be applied to all materials and designs.
So if we can all remember to apply the 20-20-20 rule daily, and wear an appropriate lens that can reduce our exposure to blue light, then our eyes can stay at their best for longer and relieve those digital eye strain symptoms.
Our contact lens provider Alcon is experiencing delays fulfilling orders due to a cyber-security incident involving their freight partner, Toll Group. These delays are across their entire network of optical retailers in Australia. We apologise for an inconvenience caused and encourage you to contact your local EyeQ practice for any urgent requirements.