Digital life and your eyes

Australians love digital media and we devote over 10 hours a day interacting with digital media channels across multiple devices^. Computers, smartphones and tablets have completely revolutionized the way we work, learn, shop, socialise and relax. However, our eyes are not naturally suited to the digital environment with 65% of screen users likely to experience symptoms of digital eye strain*. Innovative lenses are now available from Bill Evans Optometrists which are specifically designed for digital screen use to help relax and protect your eyes and keep them feeling fresh throughout the day.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital Eye Strain is the discomfort of the eyes felt by many individuals after two or more hours in front of digital media. Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

– Eye strain or fatigue
– Dry, tired, burning or red eyes
– Blur to your vision
– Headache
– Neck/shoulder/back pain

How are our eyes strained with increased digital media use?

– Eyes are focusing more intensively and repeatedly to adjust the frequent switching between devices, as well as to increasingly smaller, pixelated characters and bright, glowing screens.
– Digital devices are backlit and emit blue-violet light that can cause discomfort. This is linked to disrupted release melatonin, causing altered sleeping patterns.
– A new reading zone in very close near vision has evolved with the smartphone, placing even greater focussing demands on our eyes.
– The normal blinking rate is often reduced from 17 or more blinks a minute to as low as 12 blinks, reducing tear production and rejuvenation, making your eyes feel dry and uncomfortable.**
– Our posture has changed as we lean toward our screens and slouch in our chairs, putting more strain on the back and neck.*

Innovative Digital Eyewear

In response to our changing visual environment, innovative lens technology has been developed to reduce digital eye strain by eliminating glare, filtering out blue light and preventing vision fatigue. The good news is that digital lens innovation caters to both prescription and non-prescription wearers affected by digital eye strain.

Referred to as your computer, digital or work pair, these lenses are designed to relax and protect your eyes by providing clear viewing at typical screen viewing distance, as well as reduce blurriness, brightness and glare. If you wear prescription glasses currently, a dedicated computer benefit will not only alleviate eye strain, but likely deliver postural benefits as your focus will be optimised for close up and screen viewing.

Understanding the demands of digital media usage on your eyes is just one of the aspects we will discuss with you as part of our comprehensive eye consultation at Bill Evans Optometrists. Knowing how much time you spend in front of digital screens, the setup of your digital environment and the type of work you do, allows us to prescribe a customized digital vision solution for you.

Tips to Reduce Digital Eye Strain

– Adjust the brightness and contrast of your devices
– Remember to blink often
– Take breaks from staring at your digital screen by remembering the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes staring at a computer, tablet or phone, take a 20 second break, looking at least 20 metres away
– Wear glasses designed for digital device use

^Australia: The Digital Media Nation, McCrindle Research, August 2013
*Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma,
2016 Digital Eye Strain Report, The Vision Council, US
**Computer Vision Syndrome Affects Millions, J. Brody, NY Times May, 2016