Back to News

What is digital eye fatigue?

Just as the rest of the muscles in your body do, the eyes get tired. When we’re not asleep, they are working constantly and in today’s culture of extended electronic device use, they are being put under more strain than ever.   

We usually begin the day by checking our social media on our smart phones, to working with computer screens and electronic point of sale systems at work during the day and coming home and relaxing by watching our favourite shows on the television in the evening. Consistent screen watching can have consequences on your eyes, causing worrying symptoms that can lead to pain and discomfort in your eyes and body.

Symptoms of digital eye fatigue include:

  • Headaches
  • Tired eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck or back pain
  • Burning/stinging eyes
  • Difficulty focusing after extended periods of time

What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms of digital eye fatigue?

An eye test carried out by an expert optometrist can detect any underlying health issues with your eyes. With the state of the art technology available when you attend an eye test at Optical Express; your eyes will receive a thorough examination and an expert diagnosis.

As part of your eye test at Optical Express, you’ll also receive an iScan report. This report includes details of the health, prescription and diagnostics of each of your eyes. The iScan report and the specialised computer software required for its compilation was developed by our expert team here at Optical Express.

What can I do to prevent/ease digital eye fatigue?

  • Ensure your computer workstation has the correct chair, and the screen is adjusted to the right level
  • Take regular breaks away from your computer, at least one per hour
  • Try the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes spent using a screen, look at something that is 20 feet away from you and hold for 20 seconds
  • Drink plenty of water – if your body is hydrated, your eyes will be too

You should take regular breaks from your computer if you spend your work day on one.

Digital eye fatigue and children:

Children’s eyes are at risk of suffering from digital eye fatigue, too. It can be particular tough on their developing eyes. The reasons for the development of digital eye fatigue in children could be related to:

  • Holding smartphones and tablets too close to their eyes
  • Using a computer at an adults workstation, causing discomfort
  • They may not realise how long they are looking at screens and won’t take regular breaks
  • They may not question any irregularities with their eyes and believe that everyone experiences it, so don’t say anything

What should you do if your child is experiencing digital eye fatigue?

  • Limit time spent on electronic devices. Children are less likely to develop near-sightedness if they spend a lot of time outside
  • Take them for an eye test – regular eye check up’s are crucial for overall eye health
Book an eye test