Digital Eye Strain: A Modern Affliction and How to Reduce It

Digital Eye Strain

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In the digital age, our lives are increasingly intertwined with screens. From smartphones to computers, tablets to e-readers, we spend a significant portion of our day staring at digital displays. While these devices have undoubtedly made our lives more convenient, they’ve also given rise to a common problem: digital eye strain.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a condition characterized by discomfort or irritation in the eyes after prolonged use of digital devices. The blue light emitted by screens, prolonged focusing, and reduced blinking are some of the factors contributing to this discomfort.

The Impact of Blue Light On Vision

One of the primary culprits behind digital eye strain is the blue light emitted by digital screens. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and higher energy compared to other colors in the visible spectrum. Moreover, it scatters more easily, leading to visual discomfort. Additionally, exposure to blue light, especially before bedtime, can disrupt our circadian rhythm and negatively impact sleep quality.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Symptoms can include:

  • dry eyes,
  • headaches,
  • blurred vision,
  • and neck and shoulder pain.

Tips for Reducing Digital Eye Strain

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away. This helps reduce eye strain by giving your eyes a chance to relax and refocus.

Adjust Screen Settings

Modify your device’s settings to reduce brightness and minimize blue light emission. Many devices have built-in features like Night Shift or Blue Light Filter that automatically adjust the color temperature of the screen.

Proper Lighting

Ensure that your workspace is well-lit, with ambient lighting that reduces screen glare. Position your screen so that it is neither too bright nor too dim compared to the surrounding light.

Blink Regularly

Staring at a screen often leads to reduced blinking, which can cause dry eyes. Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently to keep your eyes moist.

Use Artificial Tears

Keep lubricating eye drops or artificial tears on hand to relieve dryness. Use them as needed, especially if you’re spending extended periods in front of a screen.

Adjust Text Size and Contrast

Increase the font size and adjust the contrast on your device to make text more readable. Straining to read small text can contribute to eye discomfort.

Take Regular Breaks

Schedule short breaks throughout your screen time to stretch, move around, and give your eyes a rest. Physical activity can also help reduce tension in your neck and shoulders.

Consider Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light blocking glasses or screen filters can help reduce the amount of blue light reaching your eyes. They are available in various styles and can be a practical solution for those who spend extended hours on digital devices.


By incorporating these habits into your daily routine, you can minimize the impact of digital eye strain. Remember, taking proactive steps to care for your eyes is crucial in this digital age where screens have become an integral part of our lives.

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