5 Ways to Relieve Digital Eye Strain

April 13, 2020

Has your screen time increased since COVID-19 struck? Been noticing your eyes are more tired or dry than usual? Digital eye strain may be the culprit. Here are five ways you can relieve your symptoms from our Calgary virtual eye doctor.


COVID-19 has had many unintended consequences. By forcing us and our families inside our homes for the foreseeable future, the amount of time we’ve been spending in front of screens has increased substantially. Especially amongst our children. With that in mind, here are five ways you can minimize or relieve the symptoms of digital eye strain before they become a bigger problem. 

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What is digital eye strain? 

Also known as computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain encompasses a group of vision or eye-related symptoms that result from spending large amounts of time in front of a screen. These symptoms include headaches, blurry vision, eye fatigue or discomfort, dry eyes, shoulder and neck pain, red eyes, and even eye twitching. Read on for some tips to reduce your risk of developing these symptoms or ways you can relieve the pain associated with them, courtesy of our eye specialist Calgary. 


1. Take plenty of breaks

It’s important that you give your eyes a digital break every now and then, much like it’s important to get up and move your body every so often. One way you can easily do this is by following the 20-20-20 rule. Once every 20 minutes you should look away from your screen and focus your eyes on something that’s 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. Another way you can incorporate an eye break into your routine is by stepping away from your computer for about 10 minutes once every hour. Use this time to stretch your muscles, especially the ones in your neck and shoulders. 


2. Blink more often

When we’re looking at a screen we tend to blink less often than we normally would. In order to combat this, be conscious about your blinking while using your digital devices and try to do so more often. This will help refresh your eyes by producing more tears, which can help lessen the occurrence of dry eyes.

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3. Tinker with your computer’s display settings

By adjusting the display settings on your computer you can reduce your risk of developing digital eye strain. By tinkering with the brightness, contrast, colour temperature, and text size, you can make your monitor much more eye friendly. For brightness, try a setting that makes the white background of this blog seem to have a neutral tone. If it looks like it’s giving off light much like a light bulb would, that’s a sign that your settings are too bright. But if it looks almost gray and quite dull, your brightness is probably too low. 


4. Limit glare and lighting

Glare can be a big factor when it comes to digital eye strain. So too can the lighting in your house. To combat this, make sure your computer monitor isn’t positioned directly in front of a window. Instead, have it beside so it’s perpendicular to the natural light source. You should also try to keep fluorescent lighting to a minimum throughout your house, and if possible, dim the lighting to a more comfortable tone. 


5. Book an eye exam with your eye specialist Calgary

While now is not the time to do so due to COVID-19, one of the best ways you can combat or relieve digital eye strain symptoms is by having a comprehensive eye exam with your eye clinic Calgary. In the meantime, our Calgary virtual eye doctor can assess how often you’re spending on a screen and determine if your monitor needs to be further away, or closer than it already is based upon the info you provide them. Once things return to normal, we can even prescribe blue-light blocking and anti-glare lenses that help reduce the effects of digital consumption. 

By checking in with your Calgary optometrist regularly and following the above five recommendations, you can help mitigate and lessen the symptoms of digital eye strain. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Calgary virtual eye doctor would be glad to schedule you in for a telehealth appointment and address any concerns you’re currently having with your vision. And if you need Calgary eye emergency help (Helping You See Through Covid), we’re here for you. 


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If you need immediate assistance or eye emergency help Calgary, contact our clinics at 403-256-0606 (Health First Optometry), 403-291-0923 (Sunridge Vision Centre), or 403-443-2040 (Three Hills Optometry).

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