Apart from the increased amount of blue light exposure due to screen use as explained on our last blog, long hours of digital device use (especially handheld device use) can cause soreness, tiredness, and eyestrain. We refer to this sort of eyestrain as “digital eye strain”. It comes more often to those who use their devices for more than an hour or two per day for a few reasons.
We blink less when we look at digital screens. When we participate in other tasks, we usually blink between 12 and 15 times per minute. When we use digital devices that require us to look at a screen, our blinking rate is halved. This can lead to burning, stinging feelings as the eyes become more dry, especially later in the evening.
When we use electronic devices, our posture changes, especially if our devices are handheld. Since we tend to hold our smartphones and other handheld devices closer than any other screen we look at, the head and eyes turn down and the neck and shoulder muscles become sore. If we must squint at all to see the screen, the muscles of the face and eyes can become sore. This can lead to headaches and eyestrain.
Doig Optometry has partnered with several suppliers who can provide lenses designed to minimize the stress and strain of using your devices. Meanwhile, make sure your handheld devices are at least as far away as your elbow when you use them. This distance will help keep your eyes comfortable while helping you maintain a better posture for texting.
If you are concerned that you suffer from digital eye strain, please mention this to Dr. Doig at your next eye exam. You can bring your handheld devices with you to your exam, as this will help Dr. Doig to know the distance between you and your computer screen. It’s usually different for each patient and a photo of your computer workstation will help Dr. Doig understand your viewing angles at your desk.
For more advice and options for dealing with digital eye strain, don’t hesitate to reach out to Doig Optometry at 403-333-3353. We’re always happy to help!