Eye Care

Young man with eye strain from spending too much time looking at a lap top

Screens are a big part of daily life for most Americans. You likely use a phone, laptop, or tablet throughout the day for everything from work to leisure to communication. 

While screens, whether they be cellphones or televisions, have a lot of positive uses, they can impact the health of your eyes and vision. Looking at digital screens makes your eyes work hard to focus and process glare and reflections. 

Viewing screens for too long can cause vision symptoms, known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. Luckily, there are some things you can do to reduce symptoms and protect your vision. 

Keep reading to learn some signs and solutions for digital eye strain!

4 Common Signs Of Digital Eye Strain

Young man with eye strain

Most likely, you are reading this device on a screen of some kind. While minimal screen usage is unlikely to cause digital eye strain, people who spend two or more hours at a time looking at a computer or digital screen are more likely to have symptoms.

If you already have other vision issues, you’re also more likely to deal with eye strain while looking at screens. Still, it’s vital that everyone knows the basic signs and symptoms of digital eye strain

Strained Eyes

The most common and telltale sign is strained vision. While this seems obvious, it’s still a good idea to note what that feels like. If you notice you have to work harder to focus your eyes, it’s likely because your eyesight is working overtime.


Headaches are a common issue when you’re been looking at screens for too long. But, because headaches are a symptom for many other vision and health issues, you’ll also want to note any other signs and when the headaches occur. 

Blurred Vision

Woman suffering from digital eye strain

When you’ve been staring at your computer for too long, you may notice that your vision starts to get a bit blurry. While constant blurry vision may have a different underlying cause, blurred vision when looking at a digital screen usually means it’s time to take a break.

Dry Eyes

Another common sign of digital eye strain is dry eyes. If you notice your eyes feel dry, or, on the other hand, are very watery, it’s time to look at ways to relieve the symptoms. 

Five Solutions For Digital Eye Strain

The symptoms mentioned above are a concern because many people use computers and phones for work, so it’s not always possible to completely reduce your screen time. While you might not be able to stop using digital screens, there are some simple things you can do to reduce the strain.

Here are some tips that may help you lessen the impact of digital screens on your vision. 

Take Short Breaks

20 20 20 rule for digital eye strain

When looking at any screen, particularly a computer or tablet, make sure that you look into the distance for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This is known as the 20-20-20 rule. By doing so, you help your eyes refocus.

Also, if you’re looking at a screen for more than two hours at a time, take a 15-minute break every two hours. 

Adjust the Lighting

To reduce glare, try to position the screen, particularly on a computer, away from overhead light or windows. If you’re working on a desk, you can also replace the bulbs in lamps to lower wattage options. 

Blink More

While it may be simple, blinking is an effective way to reduce the chance of symptoms like dry eye while looking at digital screens. When you’re focusing, you may not blink as often as usual.

Blinking helps keep the surface of your eyes hydrated. 

Add Moisture

Blinking is a super easy way to keep your eyes lubricated. But, if you are still having dry eye symptoms, you can talk to your ophthalmologist about using over-the-counter eye drops. 

These can be effective if you are prone to dry eyes, especially when looking at screens. 

Change the Position of the Screen

It’s generally more comfortable and easier on your eyes to view a computer screen at a slightly downward angle. The best position for the screen to be is fifteen to twenty degrees below your eye level, which is around four to five inches. 

You should also ensure the screen is about twenty to twenty-eight inches away from your eyes. 

Vision Problems? Request A Consultation 

Digital eye strain impacts many people who look at computers, phones, television, and tablets, which is the majority of Americans. If you’re having this issue, the eyecare team at VisionPoint can assist you with more tips.

If you’re having persistent vision concerns, it’s crucial to set up an eye exam. During an exam, we will check your eyes for issues like farsightedness and nearsightedness and can also look for eye conditions. 

It’s always better to err on the side of caution. So, if you notice vision changes, never wait to reach out. 

Are you experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain? Schedule an appointment at Hayden Vision in Evansville, IN, today!