More than 9 out of 10 adults spend at least two hours every day using a digital device, with more than 60 percent spending five hours or more on digital tools daily. Whether it’s for fun or work, using tablets and e-readers, smartphones, computers, video games, or TV can cause damage to the eyes resulting in digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain occurs after two hours or more in front of a digital screen. It is also linked to the near to mid-range placement of digital screens, including laptop and desktop computers, cell phones, e-readers, and tablets. Everyone averages about 18 blinks per minute throughout their daily routine. However, spending a significant amount of time viewing a digital screen causes reduced blink rates, producing itchy, burning, or dry eyes.
The resting point of accommodation (RPA) is the distance where your eyes focus. The average RPA for most people is around 31 inches. However, the majority of individuals are considerably closer than that to their digital devices. As a result, your eyes strain to remain focused, particularly on handheld digital devices because the words are much smaller, requiring your eyes to work harder to focus. Your eyes work to the point of fatigue because they are constantly exerting concentration.
Some people find it difficult to understand that a computer screen can cause harm to the eyes because reading pages in a magazine or book do not appear to produce the same effects as quickly. However, there are a few distinctions between reading on a screen and a printed page.
The letters in printed material are defined clearly while those displayed on a screen are not as precise. There is also a contrast between the background and words on a computer. Finally, many screens on digital devices produce a glare that can make reading difficult. As a result, these are harmful effects that can result in digital eye strain.
The best recommendation for dealing with digital eye strain is prevention. This can be achieved by adjusting your work environment so that your vision is less strained, such as keeping the room well lit and taking frequent breaks. If your eyes experience discomfort, you should see our Optometrist at Orillia Optometry.