Hussain Elhalis, M.D., recently spoke with WCJB TV 20 News about digital eye strain and offered several tips to alleviate the condition. Millions of Americans are spending more time now than ever before looking at computer, cell phone and tablet screens – meaning digital eye strain is a more common issue now than ever before.
Dr. Elhalis says symptoms can include dry eyes, blurry vision, watery eyes, tired eyes, headaches, neck and shoulder pain.
“So a lot of it is actually just the fact that we’re not taking a break.”
Dr. Elhalis told WCJB TV 20 taking breaks can help reduce discomfort from digital eye strain.
He said, “The Academy of Opthalmology recommends a 20/20/20 rule. And what that is, basically every 20 minutes you take a 20-second break, and you stare off in the distance of about 20 feet. And that kind of allows things to reset, allows your eyes to kind of relax, and then you can get back to kind of the task at hand.”
Blue Light and Digital Eye Strain
You may have heard news stories talking about the blue light emitted from our cell phone screens, tablet screens and computer screens. Media reports tell us blue light can contribute to digital eye strain, but the eye surgeon says it’s not a main cause.
Dr. Elhalis explained, “The misconception that it’s specifically blue light that’s causing that – we actually get more blue light from the sky than we do from our digital screens. So a lot of it is actually just that fact that we’re not taking a break.”
Dr. Ehalis says computer users should maintain their digital distance, by sitting an arm’s length away from a computer screen. They can also use computer glasses with anti-reflective lenses, and make sure they get an annual eye exam.