In this modern world, it has become more common than ever for the majority of tech users to be completely consumed by their own consumption of media and information. Some people stay so focused on their devices that they even walk into objects on sidewalks.
Many accidents that are due to distraction have also become an unexpected consequence of this new technology, but one of the subtlest issues with these changes comes in the form of digit eye strain.
The following information will provide you with a good overview of digital eye strain, from what causes it, to what you can do about it.
- What is Digital Eye Strain?
Have you ever been watching something for a long time, or on your phone for extended periods and began to feel a sort of headache and neck pain? If you have, then it’s very possible that you have at some point experienced digital eyes strain. Many groups that study the health and effectiveness of the human eye define this type of eye strain as a type of pain that occurs after the person suffering has been using a digital device for an average of 2 to 3 hours.
The number of sources and factors that determine the severity and rehabilitation required for this type of eye strain are difficult to count when you consider the type and numerically astronomical presence of devices that are currently available on the market for purchase.
This includes all sorts of gaming consoles, televisions, tablets, smart phones, smart watches, and computers of both the stationary and mobile variety, with an impressively imposing list growing every year at an exponential rate. These devices are marketed with suggestions that makes them irresistible to young and old alike, and they’re quickly becoming the primary forms of entertainment and information portals for people in the new millennium.
- Who is at Risk
The interesting thing about digital eye strain, is that anyone can be susceptible to its harmful effects. It should be noted however that adults who work in a field that requires long spans of time peering into the screen like computer programmers, writers and graphic designers are likely to be the most susceptible because of their length of hours in use coupled with whatever other screen related activities that are a part of their daily routine.
This can be especially true of people who are more isolated on a weekly basis. People who have this type of lifestyle are more likely to spend long hours watching entertainment or working in their daily lives. If they don’t have good habits to prevent eye strain, then it won’t be long before they begin to experience the effects. Prolonged damage can lead to the need for corrective eyewear.
Those who wear glasses can also be affected. Most glasses are made of simple glass or plastics and aren’t generally designed with the proper materials that are able to help you to avoid eye strain. Some lens types can even increase the amount of damage that they can do to your eyes due to refraction. If the glasses that you’re wearing haven’t been built with electronic screen use in mind, then they are likely to be major factor in the production of eye strain.
Some of the most vulnerable to these effects are younger children. Many parents today find it easier to place their child in front of an electronic device than to interact with them directly. This set it and forget it style of parenting can eventually lead to stress in the child, who may experience forms of this painful discomfort. It’s been recommended that parents keep a close watch on the amount of time that their children spend on these devices and limit their use to short bursts of 30 minutes or less.
While games and other activities have a lot of benefits for children who are developing, there are a multitude of effects that still haven’t been studied, and it would be best to keep use at a minimum. It’s been documented that prolonged use can have on the brain and sleep patterns, which can be a very bad thing for young children who are still growing and learning.
- Causes of Eye Strain
It’s important to note that no single factor is the cause of digital eye strain. This condition arises out of a set of lifestyle choices that lead to the damage, and it can require a careful examination of a person’s habits to find out how the damage can be lessened. Not only that, but it can begin in very small ways and manifest into full blown bad habits in a short period of time. This can begin by some as innocent as trying to read words on screens that are too small for the user to see.
As they make this habit a way of life, the user gets used to straining their vision to see the tiny letters so often that their eyes begin to show the earlier and less serious symptoms of eye strain. They will mostly only notice this when they emerge from a low lit environment to run errands and perform other life tasks.
Low lit areas are another cause of this condition, as it causes the eyes to have to struggle to let in more light. The constant struggle to see can tire the muscle groups in control of letting light into your eyes and thus result in fatigue and headaches.
Another important issue that isn’t considered, is that these small screens produce a type of blue light that can be very disruptive to your sleep patterns and eye health in general. Experts have warned that this type of light can speed up the degenerative progression of different eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts.
- Symptoms of Eye Strain
One of the few good things about eye strain is that it is marked by a large number of symptoms that can alert you to the news that your eyes are getting tried as a result of continual use. Generally speaking, a person with eye strain will be likely to have sore or even bloodshot eyes from microscopic damage to the surface of the eye and its blood vessels.
As time goes on, it becomes more difficult to focus on objects in your field of vision. When you do get close to objects, you might be able to see what you’re looking at but without any defined lines due to blurry vision. Further down the road, you might begin to develop serious headaches that keep you from having a productive day.
Your eyes will become sore, and your headaches might become more persistent. Sometimes these pains can even manifest in the habits of tensing or clenching other muscles near your head like those in your shoulders and neck. This is a common problem with people who have eye pain because the eye pain usually makes it difficult for them to detect that they are tensing those muscles, and this can lead to other injuries.
Your neck, shoulders and upper back areas are also vulnerable to the effects of eye strain. When most people have to struggle to focus on things, or they experience pain and discomfort, it’s a natural thing to begin tensing muscles in any of the areas where people tend to carry stress. When your posture is being changed for the worse and you are in this type of pain, it could cause you to experience sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation can lead to a host of new injuries. During sleep, it is essential to get complete rest, because sleep is the designated time for your body to replenish mineral stores, convert vitamins into your body’s basic raw materials, and perform repairs. Your eyes engage in nearly constant movement during the time that you are awake. When you are tired and your eyes begin to feel strange, this is because your body is ready to rest them.
- What You Can Do About it
The good news is that digital eye strain can not only be prevented, but treated. This is not usually a chronic condition, so with just a few tweaks in your office and some lifestyle changes while you work or browse the web, you will be feeling much better.
Find Out If Your Lights Are Bright Enough
How bright are the lights that you use at home and at work? The brightness of the lights around you can affect how quickly your eyes become tired. If your environment isn’t bright enough, then your eyes will have to strain constantly to gain the required amount of light that you need to see things in a clear way. This constant straining can lead to injury, and it usually begins with some soreness and eye fatigue.
The irritation that is brought on by eye strain can be reduced by a number of means, but it’s best to attack the problem at the root rather than only take care of the problem at the topical level. The easiest fix that you can find will probably be eye drops, because those can be bought at almost any store and are available in an almost unlimited supply. The more root way to combat the problem though, would be for you to make sure that your body is properly hydrated. When you are more hydrated, it’s much easier for your body to produce the important fluids that coat and protect the surface of your eyes.
Limit Use of Air Flow Machines
Another thing you can do is take a look around your home. If you are a person who uses air flow machines like fans and air conditioning, then you could be causing eye irritation that is exhausting your eyes. If your machines don’t use filters, you could even be pushing dust and impurities around in the air. When you combine the flow of dry and dusty air and long hours with your eyes locked onto screens, the result will be discomfort for sure.
Take Time to Rest
How often do you rest your eyes during work projects and other activities. People often forget that they are doing damage to their bodies even if they are having a fun time while doing so. It’s a necessary thing to take breaks when you’re looking at an illuminated screen for long periods of time. Not only that, but it should also be notes that older screens like LCD screen take a heavier toll on your eyes, so updating to a newer model that is LED can reduce some of the fatigue that you experience.
Get Some Special Computer Glasses
Sue to the high demand for continuous gameplay during online sessions of high end PC based games, some very smart people have come up with glasses that block a large portion of the radiation that comes from screens. These special types of glasses block out the blue light, and can be found online in gaming supply stores and other computer related accessories.
Prices will vary for this type of merchandise because there are brands that capitalize on providing high end options for the distinguished gaming experience, but it is very likely that you will be able to pick up a pair for less than the average cost of a movie ticket.
Light with Warmer Colors
You wouldn’t think that the color of your lights would be a huge issue, but it turns out that science has discovered that it’s easier for the human eye to deal with warmer colors like reds and orange than it is to deal with colors such as blue. When you eyes are in a struggle to adjust to the blue light, your eyes becomes fatigued. When you miss this issue with any of the other issues mentioned above, it becomes a lot easier to see how and why many people experience eyes strain today.
Spend Time Doing Eye Exercises
Like many muscles in the human body, the muscles located around the eye need variety in order to stay functional. It’s beneficial to take the time to roll your eyes and spend time focusing on different objects of varied distance. This makes sure that your eyes are used to seeing things at different depths. As people get older, the less tasks that they engage make it possible for those muscles to lose their effectiveness. Eye exercises can help prevent the loss of that mobility and muscle efficiency.
Get More Sleep
Of all of the things in this article, one of primary details of utmost importance is that you get a good night’s rest. Sleep is extremely important for the regeneration and replacement of cells in your eyes.