Headaches? Dry eyes? Neck Pain? It may be Digital Eye Strain.
The digital age has changed the way we work, learn, shop, socialise and relax. However, our eyes are not accustomed to the digital environment and many of us are feeling the strain.
Australians on average are spending 10 hours a day on internet connected devices^. This places stress and fatigue on our eyes and posture, resulting in a growing issue known as digital eye strain.
What is digital eye strain?
Digital Eye Strain is the physical eye discomfort felt by as many as 65% of individuals after two or more hours in front of a digital screen. Those using two or more devices simultaneously are at higher risk. Symptoms can include one or more of the following and the statics represent the frequency of reported symptoms^:
35% Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain
32% Eye Strain
28% Blurred Vision
27% Dry Eyes
Why does it occur?
Our eyes are focusing more intensively, switching frequently between devices and adjusting to increasingly smaller, pixelated characters and bright, glowing screens.
Digital devices are backlit and emit blue-violet light that can cause strain and discomfort and is linked to disrupted sleeping patterns.
A new reading zone in ultra near vision has evolved with the smartphone, placing even greater demands on our eyes.
The normal blinking rate is often reduced from 17 or more blinks a minute to 12 to 15 blinks, reducing tear production, making your eyes feel dry and uncomfortable.
Our posture has changed as we lean toward our screens and/or slouch in our chairs, putting a strain on the neck and back.
How can we help?
Innovative lens technology is available to help alleviate digital eye strain by eliminating glare, filtering out blue light, and preventing vision fatigue. The good news is that digital lens innovation caters to both prescription and non-prescription wearers affected by digital eye strain.
Referred to as your computer, digital or work pair, these lenses are designed to relax and protect your eyes by providing clear viewing at typical screen viewing distance, as well as reducing blurriness, pixelation, brightness and glare. If you wear prescription glasses currently, a dedicated computer pair will help combat digital eye strain, provide clearer vision, and deliver postural benefits as your glasses will be specially formatted for closeup work and screen viewing.
Need some help to ease the strain?
^Ernst & Young, Digital Australia: State of the Nation 2015-16
^2016 Digital Eye Strain Report, The Vision Council