Dealing with Digital Eye Strain

Digital devices such as computers, cell phones, and tablets create both solutions and problems.

Society as a whole spends more and more time in front of digital devices for work, school, and play. We do everything from spreadsheets, to shopping, to socializing online. You name it: cell phones, personal computers, laptops, e-readers, iPads, and other digital devices allow us to connect to friends and family, but at what cost to our health? All that screen time is hard on your eyes and may lead to digital eye strain — even if you have perfect vision.

Digital Eye Strain is becoming an epidemic for several reasons. First of all, heavy use of digital devices is hard work on our eye muscles. Our eyes were not designed to focus close up for prolonged periods. We are descendants of cavemen and cave women who needed to see clearly in the distance, more than close up, to hunt to provide for their families. Anything that you do for more than 2 hours a day, would usually fatigue the muscles used. For example, if you worked for a moving company, your arms, back and legs get tired at the end of the day, after riding a bike for 2+ hours, your legs would get tired, etc.

Our screen-rich culture can be blamed for digital eye strain. Your eyes have to work harder to focus on a computer screen for a prolonged period. Computers are far more visually demanding than printed material because the image on a monitor is never stable like the printed text in a book. Computer images composed of pixels of light are constantly refreshed, adding strain.

The main symptoms of Digital Eye Strain include:

  • Eyestrain/Tired Eyes
  • Frontal/temporal headaches
  • Dry Eyes (burning, red eyes, soreness)
  • Physical Fatigue
  • Blurry or vision that goes in and out of focus, especially at the end of the day

Ultimately this causes stress, discomfort and loss of productivity. The irony that you are reading this on a screen right now does not escape us, either. After you finish this blog, give those windows to your soul a break!


Over time, the tears that aren’t spread over the eyes, stagnate and thicken. This clogs the opening of the Meibomian oily tear glands along the edge of the lids so that newly made tears get stuck in the tear glands. Eventually the clogged tear glands become infected, and atrophy which decreases the amount of tears that you can make. It can also make your eyes look unhealthy with red, thickened lids, and even loss of eye lashes.

We have a natural and unique way of treating dry eyes due to my holistic and integrative background. We can decrease your red, tired and dry eyes by unclogging tear glands open, and by stimulating natural tear production, naturally, without medication or surgery. We have helped many patients in our MoisturEyes Dry Eye Spa to feel and look better. We can help your eyes look less puffy and tired, and feel refreshed which will help you get your work done more comfortably and efficiently.

What other problems does heavy screen time cause?

Without a healthy layer of tears, vision goes in and out of focus, or stays blurry because the tears are necessary to form a smooth optical layer across the front of the eye. When the eyes are dry, vision gets blurry unless you blink more, or produce more tears.

Heavy screen time can also lead to eyestrain and headaches, not only because of dry eyes, but also because of an uncorrected prescription. Studies have shown that even a small amount of uncorrected prescription can lead to muscle eye strain as you compensate to see. A prescription that is measured for your eyes and the distance that you put your computer screen will lessen, or eliminate the eyestrain. Add a blue light filter to protect your eyes even further from the blue light that can lead to eye health problems such as macular degeneration, as well as interfere with sleep. This is the topic of another article which I have written as well.

You might experience a combination of these factors. To learn more about how your eyes can look and feel better after a long day at the office, as well as the ways we can help you with our specialized services, contact us today. At Hollywood Vision Center, Optometry, Inc. we can address the vision care needs of each unique patient, providing the following services under one roof:

  • Dry Eye Spa especially for heavy computer and cell phone users
  • Natural homeopathy, supplements, etc., as well as pharmaceutical medicines when necessary
  • Vision Therapy
  • Glasses, contact lenses, Ortho-K contact lenses
  • Holistic Optometry

We are dedicated to serving the vision care needs of our patients, providing vision care services for the entire family. We provide caring, Integrative and Holistic vision care services that combine VIP treatment with state of the art technology. If you suffer from digital eye strain call today to schedule your consultation with Hollywood Vision Center, Optometry, Inc at (323) 521-4770.


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