How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain?

Digital screens are now an inseparable part of our everyday life, but constant use of phones and laptops causes “digital eye strain” or “computer vision syndrome”.

In this blog, I am going to write about some simple tips that you can use to reduce #digitaleyestrain

What causes Digital Eye strain?

Our eyes are naturally made to look at distant objects. However, when we spend too much time viewing near objects, such as digital screens, our eyes suffer from excessive strain.

Also, we normally blink around 15-20 times per minute. But when we are engrossed looking at the digital screen such as a phone, tablet or a laptop, we end up blinking lesser. This leads to rapid evaporation of the natural protective tear film causing dryness of eyes.

Several factors can lead to Digital Eye Strain. These include –

  1. Screen Glare
  2. Inappropriate screen brightness and poor lighting
  3. Wrong posture
  4. Uncorrected vision problems
  5. Viewing the digital screen at wrong angles or distance
  6. An underlying untreated eye condition
  7. A combination of these factors

What are the symptoms of Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain presents with different symptoms such as

  1. Headaches
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Double vision
  4. Eye redness
  5. Eye dryness
  6. Watering eyes
  7. Eye fatigue
  8. Neck and shoulder pain

The severity of these symptoms depends on the total amount of time spent using digital devices, whether you have any underlying eye problems, screen brightness settings.

How to prevent Digital Eye Strain?

Ensure correct posture

1. Make sure your computer screen is about 25 inches, or an arm’s length, away from your face.

2.The center of the screen should be about 10-15 degrees below eye level.

3. Ensure there are no doors, windows or sources of light directly opposite to your screen, as that will lead to glare and will increase digital eye strain.

4. Ensure that the room is adequately bright.

Adjust your devices

1. Adjust the brightness of your screen to such that it matches the brightness of your room. Ensure that your screen brightness is neither lighter nor darker than your surroundings.

2. Increase the contrast of your screen.

3. Use a matte screen filter or an “anti-glare screen” to reduce glare from your devices. These filters are available for all kinds of laptops, phones and tablets.

4. Increase the text size as per your comfort level.

Digital screen friendly habits

You might need to develop certain healthy habits to minimize digital eye strain.

1. The 20-20-20 rule: After every 20 minutes spent looking at a digital screen, take a break of 20 seconds and look at an object 20 feet away. This will help your eyes relax and reduce eye strain.

After every 2 hours, take a longer break of about 10-15 minutes.

2. If you use spectacles, you could get “Blue cut” lenses that cut down the harmful blue rays that come from all digital devices and will provide comfort to your eyes.

3. Avoid using contact lenses if you need to spend long hours working on digital screens.

4. Keep your glasses prescriptions up-to-date. Glasses of incorrect prescription could lead to increased eye strain. You may need a different power of glasses for computer use, so it is recommended that you go for regular eye checkups.

If your symptoms persist, consult your eye doctor. Depending upon the underlying problems, your doctor may suggest eye exercises or prescribe eye drops to prevent dryness in your eyes.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at

I’ll see you soon in my next blog “Conjunctivitis – Myths and Facts” to be posted on 21/8/2021.

Till then, take good care of your eyes and stay healthy!

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