If you're reading this, then apparently you regularly use electronic devices. Nothing else adequately explains not only your presence on the internet, but on this blog in particular. One other thing that likely brought you here? Your eyes hurt or feel tired all the time. Digital eye strain (DES), also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS) stands as a likely cause.
Causes of Digital Eye Strain
If, as we guessed earlier, you regularly spend significant chunks of time using digital devices, you've found the likeliest culprit. DES stems from spending time with screens. Really, no "magic number" exists which you can apply, and effectively avoid the symptoms of DES. If you use screens, and you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms outlined below, you're experiencing DES.
The "why" behind it all complicates the situation a bit. The short answer? Blue light. The slightly longer answer? Blue light occupies the part of the light spectrum tied to your sleep cycle. Whether your case of DES affects your sleep (as we mention below) or not, excess exposure to this light causes problems. The shortwave blue light emitted from your devices, as you might have guessed, may contribute to the problems associated with DES.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
Symptoms vary on a case by case basis. However, they all conform, generally, to those listed in the infographic above: some combination of blurry, dry, and/or strained eyes, headaches, and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. If you experience any of this, if, as we said earlier, your eyes hurt, then digital eye strain's probably behind your ails. Furthermore, many who experience DES also have some difficulty sleeping.
How To "Get Rid Of Tired Eyes": Cures of Digital Eye Strain
Ok, in honesty, the word "cures," is probably a little misleading. To cure something that has a clear, distinct cause, simply remove the cause. Sell your devices, and live a life without them entirely. Simple cure, really. Unfortunately, this cure satisfies very few people. You, reading this, on your phone, tablet, or computer, for example, probably don't like that answer. Me, over here writing this blog on my computer, I don't like that answer. So what can be done? Below we explore some of the solutions listed in the infographic above.
- Take a 15 Minute Break Every 2 Hours: Step away from the cause for a short time, remove the symptoms. Doing this can prevent symptoms from flaring up.
- Follow The 20-20-20 Rule: Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes you use a device. This resets your eyes and your brain, and allows you to focus on something other than light regularly. Set an alarm on your phone if you need to!
- Place Your Computer 15-20 Degrees Below Eye Level: Having the computer at the same level as your face increases the amount of blue light exposure for your eyes. Avoid this by keeping it slightly lower than you.
- Adjust Room Light For Glare: Never have the light on your computer higher than the light in the room. The best way to avoid this necessity is to ensure that the room's light never puts a glare on your monitor. Adjust your seat, adjust the light, adjust whatever you need to. Just don't turn up your brightness.
- Visit an Eye Care Specialist Regularly: Regular visits to an optometrist offer relief, and advice. Specialists know what's good for your eyes. They can correct for small prescriptions that may be contributing to your discomfort.
One More Solution
If you looked at the infographic we included above, you likely noticed that we skipped the first of their "Eye Care Tips." That's because blue-light blocking glasses deserve a little more research than a bullet point on a blog post. We happen to know a lot about this tip in particular. If you feel you need a more affective and continuous solution than those listed above, if you think you could use something more protective than avoidance tactics used while on devices, and, if you want to not just avoid symptoms, but protect your eyes as completely as possible, we have a simple invitation for you: Learn more right now about how blue-light blocking glasses can help with your DES, and protect your eyes in the long run.