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Computer eye strain: What you should know

Too much screen time can lead to a condition called computer eye strain. This is sometimes known as computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain. It happens because when watching screens, our eyes have to work hard.

Many people spend time focusing at their phones , tablets, computer monitors, and televisions for long periods of time. Modern occupations, after all, frequently enable individuals to concentrate on screens for several hours a day.

In addition to this, many individuals rely on digital media or TV to relax after work. Therefore, there is little respite for the eyes.

Continue reading to know so much about computer eye strain ‘s key causes and symptoms, as well as some exercises and treatment options to alleviate it.


Looking at screen for long time

For long periods of time, watching digital displays may make the eyes of a person work harder than normal. This can put the eyes under strain, which may lead to the development of vision problems.

As the American Optometric Association clarifies, when we view screens, the eyes are under greater pressure compared to when we read printed words on a page.

This is partially because the letters are not as sharply defined as written letters on several screens. It is also because many screens have less contrast than that of the prin

This is partially because the letters are not as sharply defined as printed letters on the several screens. It’s also because many screens have less contrast than the printed paper, and because reflection and glare affect them.

When reading words on a computer, all of this will make a person’s eyes work extra hard.

Computer eye strain can also be caused by other variables. Some individuals view screens from inappropriate distances and angles, for instance. This can lead to awkward and tense postures being adopted, especially if the individual has underlying vision issues.

Additionally, one study states that when watching screens, people’s blinking rate decreases significantly.

Blinking, however, is a major biological feature that keeps the eyes’ surface clean and lubricated. Any of the computer eye strain symptoms can also be explained by this reduction in blinking.


Some of the most common symptoms of computer eye strain are below:

  • tired and strained eyes
  • eye discomfort
  • dry, irritated, or burning eyes
  • blurred vision when viewing screens or looking into the distance
  • difficulty refocusing the eyes
  • sensitivity to bright lights
  • headaches
  • neck and shoulder pain

The prevention and control of computer eye strain can be aided by certain exercises.

The American Optometric Association, for instance, suggests that individuals obey the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes spent staring at a computer, following this rule implies looking at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Learn more here about the 20-20-20 rule.

Spending a little time every day on some other eye concentration activities can also be helpful. Try alternating slowly, for instance, between concentrating on something far away and something nearby.

Another exercise is the figure eight. This includes looking at a floor space that is 8 feet down. Then, for 30 seconds in one direction, then 30 seconds in the other, a person should slowly shift their eyes in a figure eight shape.

There is some evidence to suggest that computer eye strain may help with these exercises. For example , one study showed that the symptoms of computer vision syndrome can be substantially decreased by staring at distant objects during breaks from work.

In coping with computer eye strain, some scientists have even proposed that blinking exercises can be beneficial. Some individuals may find , for example, that recovering a regular blinking rate while looking at screens helps relieve some of their symptoms.

Other treatments

Other variables can assist in preventing and managing computer eye strain.

One post, for example, indicates that it may be beneficial to make environmental modifications. The authors of the study state that regulating the intensity of light will help minimize glare.

In addition , various individuals need different intensities of light to work with. Individuals over the age of 50 years , for example, may need twice the amount of light as those in their 20s.

Some optimal workstation arrangements are also recommended by the authors. The eyes of a person should, for example, be about 35-40 inches (in) from their computer screen. In addition, the screen should be about 5-6 below the level of the eye.

When to see a doctor

Anyone whose symptoms of computer eye strain cause them severe pain or disability should consider seeing a doctor or getting an eye test.

Additionally, some knowledge about local vision therapists may be worth finding. By offering activities and instruction that can assist with computer eye strain, vision therapists may assist. Focus exercises and blinking training include these.


Owing to an underlying vision problem, some symptoms of computer eye strain may grow or worsen. These concerns may not be identified to some individuals. This may be the case if they developed later in life.

However, if an individual suspects an underlying vision issue, it is vital that they see an eye specialist. An eye specialist may assess the eyesight of a person. This will assist them in deciding the kinds of glasses or corrective lenses that are best for the needs of the individual.


Computer eye strain is a condition that is likely to become more prevalent in the future, as longer screen time periods are needed for more and more occupations.

There has been very little computer eye strain studies. In its prevention and management, the same is true. Perhaps the only certainty about computer eye strain is that it is likely to help to decrease screen time.

People should try exercises, including the 20-20-20 rule, but they should see a doctor or vision therapist if the issue continues. A more extreme underlying condition at play may be present.

Obianuju Chukwu

She has a degree in pharmacy and has worked in the field as a pharmacist in a hospital. Teaching, blogging, and producing scientific articles are some of her interests. She enjoys writing on various topics relating to health and medicine, including health and beauty-related natural treatments, the nutritional worth of various foods, and mental wellness.