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Digital Eye Strain

The use of digital devices is growing more and more nowadays. People use their phones to communicate with their friends ­­and families. Many jobs and work are related to computers; without the internet and digital devices, it is hard to do daily tasks. Someone checks their phone before sleep and instantly after waking up. Different researches demonstrate that folks spend about seven to nine hours daily on digital gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets in America. This amount of consumption has different harmful effects on our health. In this article, you will read about one famous eye problem related to dedicating a long time to looking at screens of digital devices.

Digital eye strain is an eye problem due to prolonged focusing on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and e-readers. There are some differences between reading a paper and looking at a screen. For example, the screen of digital devices can reflect light, and this reflection makes it hard to read words and increase the susceptibility to having dry eye. Another one is the difference in the text size: reading a text on the little screen of a smartphone puts pressure on our eyes. Concentrating on digital screens also decreases the complete blinking rate compared to reading a book, which is another difference that causes discomfort in the eyes.

Digital eye symptoms include dry eye, tired eye, headache, itchy or red or tearing eye, and sometimes blurry vision. These signs increase with the amount of time allocated to using mentioned devices.

What is the treatment?

It needs different considerations to handle these syndromes. Using eye drops such as artificial tears or lubricating eye drops helps but is not enough. Special glasses or screen filters, workstation adjustment, text size modification, and reminders for completely blinking are other solutions that can prevent worsening symptoms.

As scientists proposed, there are some laws for planning for appropriate pauses. One of them is the 20-20-20 rule which means after working for 20 minutes with these devices, you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Another one is resting entirely for 15 minutes after two hours of such work.

Proper environmental lighting should be evaluated. The reflection of light on the screen disturbs the visibility of text on the screen and causes more problems. It is better to minimize it, or if it is impossible to change the environment, workers should use anti-reflection filters for their screens.

Some people have uncorrected eye problems such as astigmatism. These problems also force their eyes to concentrate more on the screens to read a text. It is crucial to go to a doctor and correct these issues by wearing glasses.

There are some ergonomics tips for adjustments to workstations. For instance, the middle of the screen should be 4-5 inches below the eye level, and the screen should be placed 35-40 inches far from the eyes. If text and images look small in this location, it is better to change their size. 

In conclusion, using electronic devices and looking at their screens is more widespread nowadays. Having enough information about their side effects and health problems is essential. This knowledge can increase productivity and prevent future diseases.

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