How to Reduce Screen Fatigue in a Screen-Filled World

In today’s Information Age, the world is full of digital screens and humans spend a lot of time looking at those screens – at home, work and everywhere in between. The result? Digital eye strain, also known as screen fatigue. Eye Strain that occurs from desktop and laptop computer screens is known as computer vision syndrome (CVS).

Adults, on average, spend 10+ hours daily staring into screens. If your job is office-oriented, then you may not be able to avoid this. But, for a lot of people, significant screen time is spent on recreation. And since many are spending more time at home due to the effects of COVID-19, digital activity is on the rise, along with eye strain symptoms.

Screen fatigue is a growing problem, there’s no doubt about it. People who look at screens for two or more hours each day are at the greatest risk of troublesome symptoms and complications. It’s likely to get worse as businesses and schools around the globe continue to shift toward remote work/studies for safety, convenience and financial purposes.

To help you better understand and deal with this condition if you ever need to, let’s look at the symptoms and some practical tips & solutions for getting rid of them.


Screen Fatigue Symptoms and Signs


Computer vision syndrome and digital eye strain can be incredibly frustrating, causing a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms. The good news is that it normally isn’t serious. For most people, the symptoms will go away when appropriate steps are taken to reduce the discomfort.

The symptoms of screen fatigue can include any of the following:

  • Tired, sore, burning or itchy eyes
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Headaches (which may get worse when using your eyes)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Neck, shoulder and back pain
  • Pain around the eyes
  • Feeling like you just can’t keep your eyes open

According to studies carried out, staring at your computer screen for long periods of time can also cause asthenopia reflex symptoms such as:

  • Vertigo (a sensation of spinning dizziness)
  • Nausea
  • Twitching of the facial muscles

Extended use of computers and digital devices strains the eyes, causing screen fatigue in many people. The glare on your screen and the setup of your workstation will often worsen the condition. However, eyestrain can also occur or worsen due to underlying eye or vision problems like muscle imbalance and refractive errors like hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.


How to Reduce Screen Fatigue

CVS can usually be treated by making changes to your daily habits and environment. Try the following tried-and-tested solutions for screen fatigue to improve and even eliminate your eyestrain symptoms.

Rest your eyes. The body’s organs need rest for optimal health and function. The eyes are no exception. You can give your eyes a break by following the 20-20-20 rule, where you look away from your screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes (set an alarm or popup to remind you), turning your gaze to things approximately 20 feet away.

Use eye drops. When you are working on your computer or electronic device, remember to blink often. This will encourage tear production and keep the outer surface of your eyes nice and moist. If they feel dry and irritated though, then you can use artificial tears or eye drops. Just be sure to use the right eye drops for your dry eyes.

Wear eyeglasses with the right prescription. People who wear glasses with the wrong prescription tend to squint when looking at their screens. Squinting is strenuous on the eyes and detrimental to overall eye health. Ensure that you’re wearing a prescription suited to the distance between your screen and your eyes.

Choose the right type of eyewear. Some eyeglasses are designed specifically for computer work. That is, they have a special lens coating that reduces eyestrain by filtering harmful blue light projected from digital screens, making working at your computer safer and more comfortable. These glasses are called blue light glasses.

Adjust your screen settings. Why work with factory default settings if they are causing you discomfort? Adjust the colour, contrast and brightness on your computer to alleviate eyestrain and screen fatigue. You may also want to change your font size and type (Arial, Calibri and Helvetica are good for readability) and other display settings.

Change your lighting and decrease glare. Bright lighting and excess glare from sunlight can make it challenging to see objects that are on your screen. To solve these problems, replace fluorescent lights, move your monitor and close your blinds or shades. Consider purchasing an adjustable desk lamp and an anti-glare screen cover.

Reorganize your desk. Moving your monitor closer to you will release you from having to stretch your neck and strain your eyes to see what’s on the computer screen. Placing a stand or document holder next to the monitor for printed materials can also be beneficial – fewer eye readjustments and head/neck movements.

Improve your workspace air quality. Dry air and smoke cause the eyes to dry out, one of the most common screen fatigue symptoms, so make changes to help prevent dry eyes. Reduce blowing air by adjusting the thermostat and changing settings on fans. Use a humidifier to increase moisture inside the room. Avoid smoke and smoking, if possible.


Glasses for screen fatigue: more on blue light filtering Glasses

Blue light glasses are glasses that filter blue light. They are eyeglasses that are equipped with a specially designed coating that reduces exposure to blue light by limiting the amount that can reach your retinas. These are important nerve-filled tissue layers that sense light and send images to the brain to enable vision.

What is blue light, exactly? It’s a band of short electromagnetic waves. These short waves transmit a considerable amount of energy and can have damaging effects on a person’s health, especially over time, as they travel through and around our bodies. In comparison with ultraviolet (UV) waves, blue light waves are only slightly less powerful.

Most blue light comes from sun exposure. However, fluorescent light bulbs and digital screens also emit it. The main health concerns with blue light exposure are macular degeneration (which can lead to blindness), disrupted sleep cycles and eyestrain. Blue light glasses can help avert these issues though. They’re considered one of the top solutions for screen fatigue.

Blue light glasses have a special coating and come in a range of options. They are available as prescription and non-prescription eyewear and adding a prescription to lenses is simple.



Bonus tips and solutions to help with screen fatigue

Here are additional tips for dealing with computer vision syndrome and digital eye strain.

Keep your screen clean. Smudges can reduce contrast on your computer monitor screen and dust can obstruct your vision. Moreover, computing machines and devices can harbor harmful germs and viruses.

Limit screen time. Adults spend many hours of the day staring into screens which isn’t healthy. You can limit daily screen time by avoiding working lunches, modifying notification settings and using techniques like the Pomodoro Technique.

Use a tilt and swivel screen or curved screen. Adjustable screens are convenient and reduce eyestrain. Curved monitors also offer benefits such as less distortion and glare leading to a better field of view.

Go for regular eye checkups. Healthy adults aged 18 to 64 should have an eye exam at least every two years, while those over 65 should have one annually. Get your eyes checked more often if you wear glasses or contact lenses.

Get an ergonomic office chair. Whether you work in an office or from home, an adjustable chair will come in handy. You can adjust the height, proximity and comfort to prevent screen fatigue and back or neck problems.

Try a new hobby. Binge-watching ASMR videos and Netflix series may keep you relaxed and entertained, but it also keeps you glued to your digital screens. Take some strain off your eyes by taking up a new hobby.

Take walks. Walking is a low-impact exercise known for its health benefits. It also gets you out of the office or home and exposes you to new sights, sounds, and smells – a great way to combat eye strain.

Give yourself incentives for avoiding screens. Commit to staying away from your laptop, phone or tablet for certain lengths of time. Then reward yourself for not giving in to the temptations to reach for them.

Don’t watch TV and videos in bed. The screens of televisions, particularly flat-screen TVs, like the screens of computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, rely on LED technologies that emit hazardous blue light.

Struggling with CVS or digital eye strain? Give the solutions and tips listed above a try and pick up a stylish new pair of blue light glasses from our store today.