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Eye Care

Digital Eye Strain

Digital devices have become an increasingly important part of our day to day lives.  Whether it be computers, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices, these all contribute to the eye becoming tired, resulting in digital eye strain, also known as “computer vision syndrome”

What is computer vision syndrome and what causes it?

Computer vision syndrome  –  is a group of eye and vision symptoms that can develop from extended periods of viewing digital devices.

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What Causes Digital Eye Strain?

Working at computer screens, our eyes typically have to work harder, as they prefer to focus on objects further than 6 metres away.  In conjunction with this, smaller devices are also becoming common as people spend more and more time on mobile devices.

Often, devices also throw off a blue light or the glare effects our eyes, resulting in us blinking far less on digital devices that the normal 15 times in a minute.

All of this combined, can lead to dry, red and scratchy eyes


  • Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes
  • Eye twitching
  • Red Eyes
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sore neck, shoulders or back
  • lncreased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty in concentrating


The combination of these unique characteristics and our eyes having to work harder can often lead to difficulty. The extent to which people experience visual symptoms often depends on the level of their visual abilities and the amount of time looking at a digital screen.


The muscles which control eye movements and focusing are typically relaxed when we look at objects in the distance 4 or six metres away).

Risk Factors

With extended period of focusing on screens, the eyes, like any muscle in our body can get tired and fatigue.  It is important that you look up from the screen and take the time to have a number of breaks.


How to Minimise eye strain?

It is important to create at least an arm’s length distance from your screen, particularly as iPads and tablets, are becoming lighter, it is very common for the screen to come to close to your eyes.
Ensure you take regular breaks with looking away from the screen or take time to get up and have a walk around.
Lubricant eye-drops are available and can refresh your eyes when they feel dry and scratchy. Organisations now are introducing humidifiers in environments where there is air-conditioning.
Ensure that you correctly set up your computer screen so that you avoid reflections from either the natural sunlight or office lighting.
Consider blue light glasses, which will filter out any of the light
Apple have introduced a new feature, known as the Apply Night Shift, which will reduce the blue light for night time viewing

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