How many digital devices do you have in your home? Now, how many similar devices do you access when you're at work? When you sit down and think about this, it's no wonder that they call this decade the digital age. You may need to use a computer all day in the office and may then spend a couple of hours glued to the TV at night. If so, you may be risking the development of a condition called "digital eyestrain." What can you do if you suspect you may be affected?
What are the Symptoms?
Little is known about the long-term effects of digital eyestrain, simply because the problem has not been in existence very long. Optometrists and scientists alike are still mapping out the repercussions, but they do know about some of the short-term issues. You may have encountered blurred vision, annoying headaches, or eyes that feel unusually sore, tired or dry.
Why Troubles Arise
Your eyes are very complex and have the ability to refocus and define many different images. However, the pixels that make up a digital image have less definition than other everyday elements. It's little wonder that the eyes can have trouble when adjusting to computer screens and maintaining their focus.
You may be able to help your situation by talking to your optometrist about a special pair of glasses. Perhaps you've tried to use ordinary reading glasses, but they are not designed for this type of distance. You may need a separate pair for computer work.
Most experts advocate that you should limit the amount of time spent staring into a screen and force yourself to take breaks. These are recommended at least once per hour and should be programmed in to your computer, so that you get a reminder. Try to focus on something which is a long way away for at least a minute or so in the interim.
See if you can position your digital devices so that you are not adversely affected by background or other forms of lighting. You need to avoid a situation where you are placed directly in front of or behind a window, but should try and take advantage of natural daylight if possible. Above all else, avoid having too many reflections on your screen.
You may also find it advantageous to adjust the colour spectrum of your computer screen. In particular, try to reduce the harmful effects of blue light in the late afternoon and early evening. There are a number of programs available to help you adjust your computer's settings.
Getting the Checkup
Don't forget to schedule a regular visit to your optometrist, especially if you are a fully-fledged, digital warrior!