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Workplace Eye Awareness Month: Preventing Digital Eye Strain In The Workplace

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Workplace Eye Awareness Month: Preventing Digital Eye Strain In The Workplace

Digital eye strain has been on the rise since electronics have become an integral part of life, particularly during the pandemic when many people started doing their work and school online. The overuse of electronics is considered the main cause of eye strain and people who look at a screen for 2 hours or more a day are most likely to develop digital eye strain. The symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Tired Eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sore neck
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping difficulties

To avoid suffering from these symptoms, try these tips to help reduce eye strain.

Ways To Reduce Eye Strain

Avoid Blue Light. All screens emit short, high-energy waves of blue light, which are part of the electromagnetic energy spectrum. Blue light has been linked to blurry vision, headaches, eyestrain, and sleep cycle interruptions, and it is being studied for its potential to increase age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. To reduce blue light exposure, there is often a setting on computers and phones that can reduce blue light, although it may make the colours on your screen appear distorted. There are also blue light cancelling glasses available in both prescription and non-prescription. These glasses will filter blue light without changing the appearance of your screens.

Reduce Glare. Glare can make it difficult to read and can cause you to strain your eyes more. Glare is caused by light in the room reflecting off of your screen, whether that is natural sunlight or an artificial light source. Turning your screen brightness up may help you properly see the screen, but this can make the screen too bright for comfort. You can also add mattifying protectors to your screens to stop this problem. Of course, you can also try to adjust the situation by moving so that light is not directly hitting the monitor or by turning the lights down.

Keep Your Distance. Computer screens are often only about 1 or 2 feet away from the face, causing us to focus our eyes on a near object for an extended period. Focusing on close items can put strain on our eyes and can lead to eye health issues later in life. When we focus on items that are close, we are relying on our central vision, whereas we use both our centralized and peripheral vision when we look at items that are further away. Focusing on close items for a long period creates a lack of stimulation for the peripheral vision which has been linked to the development of myopia later in life. To help give your eyes a break from staring at your screen, try the 20-20-20 trick; every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a temporary rest. You should also try to take a slightly longer break every 2 hours to help reduce strain.

Blink Often. On average, people blink approximately 15 to 20 times per minute. While using electronic devices, people tend to blink between 5 and 14 times a minute. Since the eyes are not being properly lubricated, this lack of blinking leads to dry, irritated eyes. To reduce dry eyes, you can use artificial tears for adequate lubrication and you can try to remind yourself to blink. You can also use a humidifier to keep the air moist.

See An Optometrist. While all of these are good ways to help reduce digital eye strain, visiting your optometrist is another way to ensure healthy eyes. If you are suffering from digital eye strain and are looking for solutions, your optometrist will know how best to treat you after a comprehensive eye exam.

Address Digital Eye Strain With A Calgary Eye Exam

If you are suffering from the symptoms of digital eye strain, visit a Calgary optometrist at Market Mall Optometry. At a comprehensive adult eye exam, one of our skilled optometrists will be able to address your symptoms and work with you to reduce your eye strain going forward. Addressing your symptoms as early as possible will create fast relief. After your eye exam, we will schedule a follow-up to ensure your digital eye strain management is effective and that your symptoms have subsided. For an adult eye exam in Calgary, contact Market Mall Optometry either by calling 1-403-286-4884 or by filling out the online contact form.


Q: What does an adult eye exam at Market Mall Optometry in Calgary typically include?
A: Your Calgary eye doctor will:

  • Assess colour deficiency
  • Measure depth perception
  • Measure the pressure inside of your eyes
  • Measure your existing glasses prescription
  • Review any health concerns you may have or that may be in your family history
  • Examine your eyes with and without the help of lenses 
  • Fully assess the health of your eyes 
  • Take retinal photos to assess the health of the back of your eyes 
  • Give an optometrist-determined prescription if needed.

Q: Does a blue light blocking filter on my glasses mean the lenses will be a different colour?
A: No, blue light blocking glasses are not coloured and will not change the colours of what you see.

Q: How do I know if my eyes feel dry because of digital eye strain or because of another condition?
A: Unless you’re able to stop using screens altogether for a time and see if that improves your symptoms, you won’t have a way of knowing on your own. Book an adult eye exam to have your eyes examined and your Calgary optometrist will be able to tell if you have any underlying conditions that could be causing dry eye symptoms.

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