Digital Eye Strain in Calgary

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Combating Computer Vision

Computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain is caused when too much screen time exhausts our visual system. Screens make our eyes work harder, which increases your risk of eye strain symptoms and worsening uncorrected vision problems.

You don’t need to stop screen time forever to protect your eyes. Instead, you can alleviate the symptoms of digital eye strain by developing healthy habits and visiting our optometrists for treatment.

If you’re battling the symptoms of digital eye strain every day, call Dr. Bishop & Associates for relief.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Common symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity
  • Burning or irritation
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain

If you notice additional symptoms after long periods of screen time, it may be related to digital eye strain or a separate eye condition. Visit your optometrist to discuss your symptoms.

Treating Digital Eye Strain

Alleviating the symptoms of digital eye strain can take on a few forms, from lifestyle changes to dry eye therapy.

Blink More

Blinking habits differ when looking at digital devices. The average person normally blinks 12 times per minute, but that reduces to 5 times per minute when viewing a screen.

Ever tried keeping your eyes open for a really long time? The same discomfort can occur when we don’t blink enough during computer usage.

If you catch yourself staring without blinking, try blinking a few times to rest your eyes and encourage tear production.

Eye drops are the most common treatment option for dry eyes caused by digital eyes strain. There are plenty of over-the-counter artificial tears, but you should consult our optometrists first. Book an appointment to discuss the best eye drops for your eyes.

Sitting too close to your screen can irritate your vision. Whether it’s your TV screen or your workstation, take a step back, and you might notice reduced symptoms.

For computer screens, it’s best to sit back at least an arm’s length away with the screen positioned 15 degrees below eye level.

However, different devices, visual abilities, and desk setups can require personalized guidelines. If you’re unsure if screen distance impacts your eye health, talk to our optometrists.

20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule is an easy-to-remember guideline to improve your relationship with screen time. The name might be catchy, but it can be trickier to follow.

The rule: For every 20 minutes in front of a digital screen, look at an object 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds.

How can you tell if an object is twenty feet away? 20 feet (or just over 6 metres for us metric-based Canadians) is about half the height of the average telephone pole. Or, one-and-a-half Volkswagen Beetles.

You don’t need to break out your measuring tape to find 20 feet. If you don’t have a telephone pole or Beetle nearby, focus on an object across the street. If you’re stuck indoors, try an object on the other side of the room or look across at an object in a nearby room.

The “every 20 minutes” part can be the most challenging, particularly if you stare at a screen for work. However, you can be flexible with the time. Set a timer for every 20 minutes or commit to a screen break every hour.

You know how your eyes feel after an hour or more of staring at a screen. If your eyes feel good with 2-hour blocks of screen time, you might try to schedule your break then. Keep track of your symptoms and talk to Dr. Bishop & Associates for more ideas about customizing the 20-20-20 rule.

Visit Your Optometrist to Relieve Eye Strain

Digital eye strain can be a nuisance, but there are options for managing symptoms and reducing your risks. Our optometrists can assess your eye health at an eye exam to help you learn why your eyes are experiencing symptoms.

Whether you need a new prescription, screen breaks, or treatment for dry eyes, contact us for support. Book an appointment with Dr. Bishop & Associates today.

Our Locations

You deserve the highest standard of eye care. Our 4 locations make it easy for you to receive quality eye care, no matter where you live.

Willow Park Village

  • 412 – 10816 Macleod Trail SE
  • Calgary, AB T2J 5N8

Legacy Township

  • 230 – 200 Hartell Way SE
  • Calgary, AB T2X 4S9

Beacon Hill

  • 610 – 11877 Sarcee Trail NW
  • Calgary, AB T3R 1W5

Northgate Village

  • 103 – 495 36 St NE
  • Calgary, AB T2A 6K3

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