In today’s digitalised world, problems with digital eye strain have started to show signs of sharp increase.
Today we give you a good summary of what you need to know about this modern world problem and most important, what to do about it.
What Is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain is also referred to as computer vision syndrome and is a set of vision related problems that result from extensive use of a computer, smart phone, or tablet.
The majority of people that use a computer will at some point experience digital eye strain.
What Causes Digital Eye Strain?
Basically, blue light emitted from digital devices and the fact that this light flickers are the major causes of digital eye strain.
1. Blue Light
Whilst there may be many factors that leads to digital eye strain blue light seems to be the biggest culprit.
Blue light is high energy visible (HEV) light that is emitted in large quantities from digital devices, such as your smartphone, laptop and tablet.
Given how high energy artificial blue light is; it may also cause some cellular damage in the eyes. After a long day working on your computer (which emits lots of blue light), the cumulative damage caused by this excessive blue light exposure can lead to digital eye strain.
2. Reduced Contrast
Blue light from digital screens can decrease contrast, which is the main cause of digital eye strain.
Fatigue caused by excessive blue light exposure after sunset disrupting your circadian rhythm and sleep can also lead to digital eye strain.
Dim lighting, which is still blue light can also intensify the symptoms of digital eye strain.
3. Flicker Effect
Digital displays have a flicker rate that is also a major cause of digital eye strain.
Almost all LEDs flicker. This flickering blue light can be found in computer screens, cellphones, tablets but also in office and house lighting.
Flickering light is due to the AC current and is an energy saving tactic. This is all very well but this flickering effect of blue light also leads to digital eye strain.
What Are the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain?
These are the symptoms one can experience from digital eye strain:
- Sore eyes
- Tired eyes
- Burning eyes
- Red or itching eyes
- Dry or watery eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Tension type headache or migraine
- Uncomfortable neck, shoulders or back
- Sensitivity to light
- Trouble concentrating on computer tasks
Symptoms of digital eye strain seem to increase with the amount of time spent at a computer. Therefore, the longer one spends at a computer or on their phone the more severe the symptoms of digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain does not discriminate and anyone who uses a computer or works under blue light will experience digital eye strain at some point in their lives.
How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain
Whilst you should always seek advice from your doctor or optometrist before treating digital eye strain, we can provide some guidance on what to discuss with your medical practitioner.
Here are our top tips on how to prevent digital eye strain issues.
1. Wear Computer Glasses During the Day
Reducing the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes is the first step.
By wearing a pair of good computer glasses you can reduce blue light during the daytime.
Be careful though as most companies will only focus on violet light, which does not impact digital eye strain, its blue light you need to filter.
The best computer glasses backed by science are BluLite computer glasses by BLUblox. These computer glasses are the best computer glasses as they target the whole blue spectrum and filter it down.
Remember, you do not want to block blue light during the day as this will disrupt your natural biological rhythms, instead focus on filtering blue light down to help prevent digital eye strain.
2. Wear Blue Light Glasses in the Evening
If you work after sunset you need to not only protect your eyes from digital eyestrain you must also protect your eyes from all blue light as not to interfere with sleep.
This is why wearing clear lens computer glasses after sunset may help with digital eye strain, but not help you sleep better. We explain the difference between computer glasses vs blue light glasses here.
Blue light post sunset may damage your body’s ability to produce sleep hormones and that’s not great for your health in the slightest.
After sunset wearing a pair of blue light glasses that blocks 100% of blue light is essential. These type of blue light glasses will not just protect your eyes from digital eye strain, they will assist you in sleeping better as well.
BLUblox offers super stylist, evidence backed blue light glasses which makes them the best blue light glasses available.
Remember, not all blue light glasses are created equal so opt for a pair that blocks 100% of blue light and most green light between 400-550nm. BLUblox are the only brand who targets these wavelengths making their glasses the best blue light glasses available. We also show you how to test blue light glasses here.
3. Use No Flicker Light Bulbs
Whilst its difficult to eliminate all flicker there are some products out there that can help.
As we know blue light flickers which causes digital eye strain. In order to reduce symptoms of digital eye strain we must reduce flickering blue light.
Digital eye strain can be caused not just by digital devices but also LED lights in your office and home.
You can now buy flicker free and low blue light bulbs from BLUblox called Lumi. These light bulbs have zero flicker and also contain next to no blue light, which means you can enjoy soft lighting without any fear of getting digital eye strain from them.
4. Use Blue Light Filtering Software
You can use free or paid for software that helps to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from a digital device.
You can use the free built in night shift mode on Apple's MacOS and iOS. We suggest looking how to turn your iPhone screen red to be more effective than night shift mode.
Windows and Android users can turn on the night light setting. We suggest using F.lux or Iris Tech software to be more effective.
You can look to use dark mode setting, but we explain more why dark mode might not be that great for your eyes.
I hope this article has provided some insight into what is digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain is a combination of symptoms ranging from sore dry and watery eyes to tension headaches, blurred vision and fatigue.
It is important to ask the question what is digital eye strain so you know what to do about it.
Using the best computer glasses to filter blue light during the day and using flicker free light bulbs is the best options, just be sure to choose the best computer glasses. Blocking all blue light after sunset is also a good tactic, just opt for the best blue light glasses from BLUblox.
So, when you are asked the question “what is digital eyestrain” you should be able to empower the person who asked you this very question.
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