Digital eye strain is all the rage these days. It seems like everyone is getting on board the digital eye strain bandwagon, and with up to 70% of Albertans experiencing the symptoms of digital eye strain, it’s no wonder that this fun, family-friendly condition is gaining popularity.
The best part about digital eye strain is how easy it makes everyday tasks (like working at a computer or using your smartphone). It helps you stay alert, engaged, and focused.
By now it must be clear that we’re being sarcastic. Super sarcastic. While our claims of digital eye strain being a “fun, family-friendly” condition are obviously false, the shocking statistic that up to 70% of Albertans experience it (and growing) is unfortunately completely true.
Anyone who’s ever spent hours engrossed in a page-turning book knows what some of the symptoms of eye strain are like. However, compared to a book, a digital display is much more jarring on the eye.
Simply put, digital eye strain is the result of spending hours and hours of our days/lives staring at a display. Whether it’s an LCD screen, OLED smartphone, tablet, plasma TV… all these displays have the potential to promote eye strain.
Our eyes aren’t supposed to spend prolonged periods of time focusing on a fixed point. In fact, for most of our evolutionary history, there was no advantage to being able to do so. It’s only recently – in the last 30 years or so – that digital screens have become as prevalent as they are.
We’re glad you asked. They are:
Okay, we’re joking! Digital eye strain certainly won’t kill you, but it will greatly reduce your comfort. Typical symptoms include:
We’d never tell our patients to stop using digital devices. In 2016, such an option doesn’t even exist. However, we would like to remind you of the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a well-deserved break and helps stave off symptoms.
At Red Deer Eye Care, we carry lenses and coatings that are specifically targeted to reduce digital eyestrain. Find out more about the lenses we offer for digital users at our clinics.
If you’re struggling to manage your digital eye strain symptoms, visit us! We have three practices in Red Deer, Rimbey, and Rocky Mountain House- we are ready to help you!
Dr. Lampard graduated from optometry at Pacific University in Oregon in 1981. He and his wife Lorraine have three grown children, all born and raised in Red Deer. Tom enjoys cycling, curling, cross country and downhill skiing, and golfing. He also keeps busy volunteering for the United Way, has been a chairman of the Alberta College of Optometrists, and director of the Alberta Association of Optometrists.More Articles by Tom Lampard