Digital Eye Strain often referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome, is a group of eye problems/ diseases, that result from prolonged mobile phone, tablet, computer, and e-reader use. Most of the people affected by this syndrome face eye discomfort and vision problems.
What Causes Digital Eye Strain?
In today’s world of Digitalization, everyone is always looking at the devices, this digital world has given us. This digitalization has changed our world. From education to business, and all other fields of life, there is a must-use of these devices in different forms, be it mobile phones or computers. This has led to a substantial increase in average daily screen time. COVID-19 pandemic leading to work from home has further added to this screen time. In Aug 2021, Florian Zandt reported that more than half of the day, American people spend on the screens.
Where this revolution has made everything look so easy with the use of these devices, at the same time there are some serious consequences that we face and are not much aware of. While using screens, our eyes are exposed to Blue light (the most harmful component of visible light), which is the main culprit for all of the problems being caused by prolonged screen exposure. U.S National Center for Biotechnology Information states that Blue light is found to have high photochemical energy that causes physiological and biochemical changes, which leads to Computer Vision Syndrome. Along with other Eye problems, Blue light also affects sleep quality, leading to increased fatigue even after sleeping for a good time.
With the excessive use of screens, our eyes are fatigued and one may feel a little discomfort while focusing on something. But it’s just a start and our eyes are warning us that something really bad is going on inside. Over the time, prolonged usage of screens, this discomfort which was initially just an occasional symptom, now it’s persistent and other symptoms also start appearing combining to be a set of diseases.
Other major symptoms one may feel are:
- Eye irritation
- Dry eyes
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Neck/back pain
Treatment and Prevention
600 years back a Dutch Philosopher Erasmus gave us the fundamental principle of modern health care that states: Prevention is better than cure! So, why not first focus on the prevention of this preventable disease. Stopping use of everything that has a screen and emit light won’t be a very good idea, but preventing the blue light to get into our eyes must be.
Over the time, technologists have strived to find a way to meet the needs of the advancing world and make our lives easier. They have given us one simple solution to prevent all of these symptoms by just filtering the blue light out. There are multiple ways for filtering the visible light and removing the blue component. Of them all, the best one and the most convenient one is the use of Eye Glasses, that are made for this job. This will definitely reduce the damage caused by blue light as stated by NCBI: Removal of the blue component of light significantly decreases retinal damage.
Apart from this, there is one more precaution that one must follow to avoid this strain. That is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. According to this rule, every 20 minutes spent using a screen; you should try to look away at something that is 20 feet away from you for a total of 20 seconds.
Other symptoms are treated symptomatically and after detailed evaluation.
In today’s world, the use of screens is a part of life and we cannot avoid it. If one uses screens for a considerable long time he/she is exposed to the blue light that leads to Digital Eye Strain. To avoid this strain one must avoid exposure either by decreasing screen time or using glasses or other blue light filtering devices.