Digital Eye Strain and Ways to Avoid It


Digital screens are everywhere. They are at home, at work, in our bags and even in our pockets. Due to covid-19 pandemic, our life has been tied more tightly to screens. Too much of anything can spoil its good effects and today we are going to talk about the effects of screen on the eyes, more particularly the digital eye strain.

Who is getting a digital eye strain?

40% of adults and 80% of teenagers in Europe say they have experienced at least one of the symptoms of digital eye strain.

– European eye fatigue report

Anybody who looks at a screen for more than 2 hours a day is at risk at developing a digital eye strain.

What are the consequences of digital eye strain?

  • Decreased visual comfort
  • Decreased productivity

Why do screens cause digital eye strain?

Letters on the screen are not clearly defined as letters on a paper. The contrast of letters to the background is reduced, requiring more effort from eyes than reading on a paper. Plus, we always move our screens to get to the next page or the next paragraph, which makes it harder for our eyes to focus. Even the presence of a glare or any reflection adds additional strain to the eyes.

Severity of eye strain can depend on many factors such as:

  • Poor lighting
  • Distance and angle of the screen from the eyes
  • Bad posture

In most cases, eye strain is not serious and the symptoms go away when appropriate measures are taken. However, if not dealt with, it can lead to further eye problems.

Symptoms of DES

  • Dry eyes: People staring at a screen tend not to blink as often as usual, leading to dry eyes.
  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty to keep your eyes open

Ways to avoid DES:

  • Position of the screen should be at 15 – 20 degrees, approximately 10 – 13 cm, below eye level, approximately and 50 – 70 cm away from eyes.
  • Brightness of the screen should be twice as dim as the surrounding brightness.
  • Sit on a comfortably padded chair with both feet on the ground and do not keep wrists on the keyboard while typing.
  • Avoid a glare. Do not place a screen directly under a light. Use lower watt bulbs for your desk lamps.
  • Make conscious effort to blink and use artificial tears even when you do not have symptoms.
  • Implement the 20 – 20 – 50 rule. Look in the distance of 50 cm every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after 2 hours of continuous use of a computer. During this time, you can do a little bit of stretching, have a coffee break or even take a nap.

While working remotely, do not forget to take care of yourself and we will be back for more tips on the Distant Crew Blog where you can find the suitable remote job for yourself.

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