Your eyes burn and feel tired, and your head is tense and aching. If you feel like this every day, we’re going to guess that you spend a lot of your time looking at computer and phone screens. And you could be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome. Yes, it’s a real thing, also called Digital Eye Strain, and there’s more you need to know.
Your computer use isn’t the only thing to blame
According to the American Optometric Association, Computer Vision Syndrome is caused by prolonged use of digital devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, and smartphones. But that’s not all. The condition is also created by:
- Poor lighting
- Screen glare
- Bad posture
- Reduced blinking
In fact, a recent study revealed that we blink over half as often as we need to when we’re on our computers. So the syndrome can also lead to dry eye.
Is your computer causing eyestrain and even a need for glasses?
There has been an increase in cases of nearsightedness over the last decade, but scientists haven’t determined if it’s the screens that are causing the problem.
Several factors contribute to nearsightedness, according to the National Eye Institute, including genetics and even spending too much time inside.
Research into the long-term effects of digital devices on eye health is still developing, but we don’t need a study to tell us that looking at a screen for too long can cause eyestrain.
“Near-work” (reading, scrolling through social media accounts) causes eye muscles to work to put things in focus by changing the shape of the eye lenses. So multiple hours of this behavior are likely causing our eyes to ache and burn. But this is considered a temporary effect and not dangerous to your vision. However, there are ways to help reduce and even prevent digital eye strain.
Take screen breaks throughout the day
The 20/20/20 rule for better eye health:
- Take a 20-second break
- Every 20 minutes
- Look at things 20 feet away