Eye strain has been on the rise in recent years, and the use of digital devices is one of the leading causes. Your eyes tend to work overtime when you use a computer, tablet or smartphone. This is because, with close vision, you generally blink less. What's more, you may not give your eyes sufficient breaks. Also, your eyes are exposed to more blue light with screens. All these factors can contribute to eye fatigue.

What is eye strain?

Eye strain, also known as eye fatigue, is a temporary alteration of your vision, most often caused by excessive use of your eyes. To understand this phenomenon, you need to know that the muscles of your eyes are among the fastest in your body. The eyes are able to contract and relax continuously. However, with the increased solicitation of close-up vision, especially with the use of screens, the eyes work hard and get tired.

What are the symptoms of eye strain?

Symptoms of eye strain include:

  • Sore eyes
  • Sensations of burning or fatigue
  • Tingling
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Migraines

These symptoms can affect your productivity, your daily activities and even cause neck, shoulder and back pain. So, what can you do about eye strain?

How to prevent eye strain?

Prevention is the best way to counteract eye strain. Implement simple techniques—and you'll quickly feel the benefits!

Blinking to prevent eye strain

Try blinking more often. It is essential to remember to blink more often when looking at a digital screen or television. For example, take advantage of page download times to do so!

Adapt ambient lighting to the brightness of a screen

Ensure that the ambient lighting is similar to the monitor you are using. If the lighting is too dim when viewing a digital screen, it can increase eye discomfort. It is also important to limit glare on the screen. Avoid sitting with your back to a window or placing your desk lamp in a way that it reflects on your screen.

Rest your eyes to avoid eye strain

Give your eyes a break! An easy trick to remember is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Take advantage of the screen settings

Most digital devices now have a feature that automatically adjusts the screen brightness to the ambient light. Increasing the font size or contrast on your devices can also help.

Use adapted glasses to limit eye strain

Blue light filtering glasses help limit eye fatigue by preventing some of these light waves from reaching your eyes. They are part of the solutions that can be considered for people who work at the computer all day.

All of these tips can certainly help reduce symptoms. But it's important to see your optometrist if you experience regular eye strain. It's also possible that your prescription has changed since your last eye exam, which may also be the source of your discomfort.

Make an appointment today at the nearest IRIS store.