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How To Relieve And Prevent Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain is a common occurrence for many people, especially those who spend most of their day working on or looking at a screen. Eye strain caused by digital devices or non-digital high-focus tasks produces the same symptoms. It can make your eyes feel weak or irritated and may also cause symptoms in other areas of the body, like headaches or neck pain. 

Given our reliance on technology in our day-to-day life, it can be difficult to limit the amount of screen time we have to avoid digital eye strain. Fortunately, there are ways to limit the severity and frequency of eye strain episodes. Keep reading to learn more about eye strain's common causes, prevention techniques, and relief for eye strain. 

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Don’t Let Eye Strain Hold You Back

If you spend a lot of time looking at digital devices and are experiencing frequent headaches, blurry vision, sore eyes, or neck pain, you may have fallen victim to digital eye strain. To reduce your eye strain discomfort as well as preventative measures to limit its occurrences, consider techniques used for just that. 

Alternatively, feel free to discuss this eye condition with ophthalmologists at Market Mall Optometry. Call 403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form below to get the conversation started!


The most common cause of eye strain is the excessive use of digital devices. Digital eye strain can worsen depending on:

  • The duration spent looking at a screen 
  • The type of screen you are looking at
  • The distance your screen is to your eyes
  • The amount you blink while using a device 

Other causes of eye strain that do not involve digital devices include:

  • Focusing on a single task over an extended period
  • Being in an environment with lights that or either too dim or too bright
  • Dry eyes
  • Being stressed or tired

6 Methods To Lessen Eye Strain Disturbances:

Intentional Blinking And Eye Drops: When you are focusing on a screen or a task for an extended period of time, it is common to not blink as often as you normally would. This can cause dry eyes and worsen eye strain. By intentionally blinking around 10  times every 20 minutes or so, you will be able to rewet your eyes. If blinking does not help reduce your eye strain, consider using lubricating eye drops. 

Eye Exercises: If your eyes remain focused on one thing for a while, they become sore due to lack of movement. Take time to do exercises that stretch, move, and relax your eyes. Potential exercises include: 

  • Move your eyes in different directions
  • Apply light pressure to your eyelids with your fingertips
  • Focus on a distant object for 10-15 seconds and then on something up close for 10-15 seconds.

Look Away Often: If you are staring at a screen for a long time, ensure you take breaks every 20 minutes. These breaks do not have to be long; just look at a distant object for about 20 seconds to relax your eyes from the strain the screen may be causing them. 

Position Your Screen Appropriately: Ensure your screen is at an appropriate distance from your eyes. It should be about an arm’s length away and be viewed at eye level or slightly below. If you struggle to read text from this distance, consider enlarging the size of the text..

Proper Lighting: Try having your light come from behind you rather than in front of you. If you are using a digital device, ensure the lights are not too bright. If possible, use LED lights rather than fluorescent ones. 

Adjust Display Settings: In your device’s settings, you may be able to adjust your screen preferences. To limit eye strain, it is recommended to:

  • Adjust your screen’s brightness to match your environment’s lighting
  • Adjust your text size so you can read comfortably
  • Adjust your screen lighting to give it a warm hue and reduce the amount of blue light your eyes are taking in


Consult Our Optic Experts For Professional Advice 

To limit the discomfort you may experience from digital eye strain, consider what is causing it, how to prevent it, and what you can do to lessen symptoms. If you experience eye strain for any reason, contact our team of optic experts. We can provide you with specific recommendations to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable while you work. If you have not had a comprehensive eye exam in over a year, book an appointment with one of our eye doctors to better understand your optic needs and health. 



Q: Why does digital eye strain cause dry eyes?
A: An eye strain occurs when we stare at a screen for a long time and forget to blink at regular intervals. This causes our eye’s protective tear film to dissipate, leaving our eyes exposed to the air and drying them out. 

Q: How can an eye exam help with my eye strain?
A: During a comprehensive eye exam, you will have the opportunity to discuss any eye or vision problems with your doctor. Talking to a professional allows you to receive reliable advice on how to effectively treat your eye strains and reduce your discomfort. 

Q: What complications can arise from eye strain?
A: Eye strain has the potential to cause:

  • Cataracts
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depending on your age, macular degeneration
  • Issues with your retina
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