Signs and Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Signs and Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is staring at a phone, television, computer, or any other digital device throughout the day. This is why digital eye strain is so prevalent. Most people who routinely use digital devices experience some symptoms of this condition.

Digital eye strain is a common condition, which can be pretty annoying. In most cases, it goes away when you rest your eyes. You can also take certain steps to reduce eye discomfort. In other cases, however, it can be an indication of an underlying eye problem that needs treatment.

Many people experience this problem while looking at a digital screen for extended periods. Do you spend many hours on your computer either at home or in the office? Viewing a digital screen or computer for hours forces your eyes to work harder. This increases the risk of developing some vision-related issues.


What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Also known as computer vision syndrome, this is a temporary problem that results from extended use of a digital device. Some of the conditions that can cause digital eye strain include computers, televisions, smartphones, gaming systems, tablets, and e-readers.



No single isolated behavior or factor causes this problem. Discomfort and irritation can stem from many issues. Most digital devices, such as computers and smartphones, often feature pixelated images and small print. They can be difficult to read, which forces people to strain their eyes.

You may also be using your digital devices in the wrong way. For example, you may be holding them too far from your eyes or at the wrong angle. High-energy visible light, also referred to as blue light, is another cause of this condition. Digital devices emit blue light, which increases eye strain more than colors with longer wavelengths.

Also, adults who wear prescription eyeglasses are at a higher risk of developing digital eye strain. This is because the corrective eyewear they use may not be ideal for viewing or looking at the mid-distance range of digital devices.


Signs and Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Dry Eyes: The time you spend staring at a digital screen can affect your eyes and worsen the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Your job, however, may prevent you from limiting the time you spend in front of a digital screen. To avoid digital eye strain, you need to take breaks and blink. This will help spread hydrating fluids across your eyes.
  • Double and Blurred Vision: Digital eye strain may cause you to experience blurred or double vision. This will prevent you from focusing normally.
  • Headaches: If you often experience a dull headache behind your eyes after prolonged use of a digital device, it may be a sign of digital eye strain. According to the Vision Council, more than 27 percent of individuals who experience headaches may be suffering from this condition.

Other signs and symptoms of digital eye strain include difficulty keeping your eyes open, watery eyes, and increased sensitivity to light, itching, burning, tired, or sore eyes.

The extent to which you experience these problems will depend on the time you spend watching a digital screen. It also depends on the level of your visual abilities.

To learn more about this condition, visit University Optometric Center at our office in Irvine, California. You can also call (949) 216-8900 to schedule an appointment today.


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