The bus, train, tram, tube, GP waiting room, airport waiting lounges – what do they all have in common? People glued to their phones. Gone are the days of chugging 4 cups of coffee to start your day and in with the scramming across the bed to locate this tiny device called a mobile to snooze your alarm and scroll through your social media news feeds.

If you didn’t know by now, our daily device use is affecting our vision and although we cannot always avoid it, we CAN reduce and prevent the heavier symptoms that are often the outcome of severe digital eye strain.
HBD - digital eye strain - phone in bed
So, what is digital eye strain?

Eye strain is the physical discomfort felt after two or more hours in front of a digital screen and is associate with staring at a close to mid-range fixed distance. This can often happen in the workplace if your job requires the need to work on a PC for a long time.

What causes digital eye strain?

On average, we blink 18 times per minute however when we stare at a computer screen or mobile device – or even the television – for a long period of time, it reduces the blink rate resulting in dry, itchy and irritated eyes. We can strain our eyes by doing activities through the device in order to focus which can make digital eye strain a lot worse.
HBD - digital eye strain - rubbing eyes

Some symptoms of eye strain

• Tired eyes – your eyes are prone to feeling achy, droopy and heavy or weak
• Dry eyes – Lack of tears produced with a scratchy, sandy feeling as though you have something constantly irritating your eyes or a sensation that you have something in your eyes
• Blurred vision – you do not have clear focus or sharpness in your vision which makes you unable to see the fine details

How can I prevent or reduce the effects of digital eye strain?

• Have regular eye examinations and seek professional advice if you feel you are already experiencing the symptoms described in the list above
• Keep reminding yourself to blink whilst working
• Avoid staring into your computer screen and take a break away from your screen every 2 hours
• Try to keep your eyes moist – artificial tears or eye drops can help keep your eyes feeling refreshed throughout the day
• Follow the 20-20-20 rule! Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will allow your eyes to relax and give you a little time to blink normally and keep your eyes refreshed as possible
• Anti-glare screens for computer monitors and special coatings on eyeglass lenses are helpful in preventing squinting

Digital eye strain is a serious issue that can affect your daily activity. If you are struggling with any of the symptoms above, please book an appointment with us so that you can resume normal life with peace of mind.

At Hodd Barnes and Dickins we have a team of highly qualified staff who are able to offer you exceptional service and diagnose the most challenging of eye conditions and spectacle prescriptions. We have developed a level of expertise that allows us to fit all types of spectacles and contact lenses.

For more information, please book an appointment here or alternatively, please call us on 020 7831 0032.