Just like the muscles in your body, your eyes can get tired. Imagine flexing your biceps 10 hours a day for a full week. With that much stress placed on your biceps. Eventually they will get tired and stop working as well as they could. Similarly, when you work at a computer all day, your eyes have to focus and refocus all the time. They move back and fourth as you read. And, when you have to look down at papers and then back to type. All of this requires a lot of effort from your eye muscles.
Digital eye strain is the physical discomfort that may follow after two or more hours of digital device use. Devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, TVs and smartphones can all cause digital eye strain. Symptoms can include: red, dry or irritated eyes, blurred vision, neck/back/shoulder pain, and headaches.
Digital eye strain is similar to carpal tunnel in that it happens because your eyes have to follow the same path over and over. And, much like carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the result of repetitive motion, it can get worse the longer you continue the movement. The good news is, easing the symptoms of digital eye strain can easily be achieved. The first step is to get a comprehensive eye exam.
During your eye exam, make sure to tell your eye doctor how often you use a computer at home or work. Additionally, make sure to mention all other digital device use such as TV, tablets, smartphone, etc. If you would like to speak to an eye care professional to learn more about the signs and treatment for digital eye strain, contact our office at (805) 522-7007 to learn how we can help.