Digital Eye Strain

eye posture-computer use


Are you in need of an Optometrist on the Gold Coast? Vision Eye Health are your friendly professional eye service providers with over 35 years of experience. Today we are going to discuss a particular eye problem called digital eye strain.


digital eye strain

Eye and visionrelated issues that result from prolonged use of digital devices such as phones, computers, tablets, and handheld gaming consoles are collectively known as digital eye strain (DES).

With the advent of technology, it comes as no surprise that digital devices are now a regular part of our lives. The use of these devices has considerably increased over the years with people using them not just for work but for recreational purposes, too. This increase is not just prevalent in adults but across all ages. In fact, studies show that on average, we spend  5.5 hours in front of a screen. Optometrists on the Gold Coast such as Vision Eye Health have also noted that more patients from Generation Z spend even longer hours on screens with a 7.3 hours daily average!


eye care

There are several symptoms of digital eye strain or DES. These symptoms can include headaches, blurred and double vision, irritated, red, and/or tired eyes, and even dry eyes.

Why do we get DES? Well, similar to a camera, our eyes look at objects and the light reflected from them is what we see. For most people, their eyes naturally focus at objects that are over six meters away, so anything closer like a computer or smartphone screen makes the eyes work to focus on it. This is why we sometimes squint and don’t even notice it. If the screens are blurred, too small, or too bright, this forces our eyes to focus more and squinting can help them focus. 

Having our eyes focus more than they are used to will easily tire out the eye muscles and nerves and can lead to stress and fatigue. Just like the other parts of the body, our eyes also deserve that much needed rest in order to function properly.


Tips to avoid eye strain

Here are some of the few tips that optometrists on the Gold Coast recommend to help alleviate digital eye strain (DES) symptoms:

Observing the rule of 20-20-20, its recommended that for every 20 minutes of screen timewe rest our eyes for 20 seconds and look at another object that is 20 feet away (6m or more) from our computer or phone screen.

Be mindful of your computer setup, position it in such a way that the screen does not give off any glare or it’s away from anything that can cause reflections.

Refresh your eyes with artificial tears or lubricating eye drops such as Blink Intensive Tears or Systane Complete.

Make use of apps and settings to help monitor your screen time use and even minimise blue light from screens.

Keep a safe distance from your screens, it shouldn’t be too near or too far from you. A good guide is hand to elbow distance (30-40cm) from handheld devices and arms length from computer screens.

Help with eye strain

If symptoms of DES persist, go and visit your friendly and reliable Optometrist. We will recommend specific tips for your situation to alleviate DES such as prescription glasses or contact lenses (if you need them), specific eye drops and behavioural adjustments.