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Managing Eye Strain in a Digital Age

With technology small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, it may seem like you are always plugged in or logged on. Stream a meeting, video chat with friends or read an entire book without ever missing a beat—thanks to your e-reader, tablet or smart phone. While this technology makes life’s tasks convenient, it could pose problems for the health of your eyes.

Because digital devices are held close to the face, your eyes are forced to constantly focus and reposition in order to see images and text clearly. Do it long enough, and your eyes may begin to cry out for relief as you experience eye fatigue, irritation or vision problems. 

Headaches, dry eyes, and redness are all common symptoms of digital eyestrain and nearly 70% of American adults report effects from it.  Treatment for eyestrain will depend on how you are using your digital devices—are you playing late-night video games, spending hours on your tablet chatting it up on Facebook, or studying for an academic challenge?  These factors will make a difference in how you prevent and manage your eye health and still enjoy the activities you love.

To prevent eyestrain, try these easy solutions:

  • Take frequent study or eye breaks, enlarge the font size on your phone or change overhead lights to lower ambient task lighting to help your screen stand out.
  • Reduce glare by adjusting the settings on your computer and change background colors from white to a light gray. 
  • If your eyestrain interrupts your ability to complete daily tasks, talk with your doctor about custom eyewear with anti-reflective coatings designed for viewing digital media. These special glasses can ease focusing issues and help you work or play longer with less strain.



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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.