Are Screens Bad for My Eyes?

Phones, computers, televisions – our lives are filled with screens, and staring at them for too long can be harmful to our eyes, causing a condition known as digital eye strain. Digital eye strain is a collection of vision-related symptoms, including blurred vision and dry eyes, caused by extended screen time.

Today, more and more people are suffering from digital eye strain without knowing the cause of their symptoms. Blinking helps refresh the tear film on our eyes. But when our eyes focus on digital screens, we blink less frequently. This can leave our eyes feeling dry and fatigued, potentially leading to blurred vision.

Other symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck or Back pain
  • Burning/Stinging eyes
  • Difficulty focusing after extended periods of time
  • Reduced productivity

Current work and lifestyle habits have caused us to spend extended time in close-range digital tools such as smart phones, computers and hand-held gaming devices. As the presence of technology increases, so do the chances of experiencing digital eye strain and vision problems. 

Solutions to digital screen-related vision problems are varied. However, they can usually be alleviated by obtaining regular eye care and making changes in how you view the screen. Some tips to help reduce digital eye strain are:

Lighting – Position your digital device to avoid glare, particularly from overhead lighting or windows. Use blinds or drapes on windows and replace the light bulbs in desk lamps with bulbs of lower wattage. If there is no way to minimize glare from light sources, consider using a screen glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.

Rest Breaks – To prevent eye strain, give your eyes frequent breaks. For every 20 minutes of screen time, look away for 20 seconds to allow your eyes a chance to refocus.

Blinking – To minimize your chances of developing dry eye when viewing a screen, try to blink frequently. Doing so will keep the front surface of your eye moist.

Regular eye examinations and proper viewing habits can help to prevent or reduce the development of digital eye strain. If you are suffering from digital eye strain symptoms, contact Kalamazoo Ophthalmology at 269-329-5860 or website to schedule an appointment with Our Doctors.