We are living in an era when it is not possible for most to avoid using digital devices. Right from young children and grownups, even the aged need to use portable electronic devices and or computers. It is difficult to image any professional or student to continue with their profession or academic studies without using one of these devices, particularly computers.

Almost everyone using portable electronic devices or a computer for prolonged hours is exposed to the risk of eye strain. Your age or the kind of experience in handling these devices hardly comes into play. During the extended hours people spend on their electronic devices, the nature of the digital screens themselves contribute to causing increased eye strain, compared with reading the same information printed on paper.

The reason is that the characters appearing on your computer screen are made of minuscule squares or dots of light, known as pixels. Characters made by using pixels are not as distinct as those made on printed pages. Pixels lack sharpness and density, compared to printed matter. This is valid even for devices using high resolution screens, though the effect may not be so pronounced. It is more difficult for the eyes to remain focused on the text appearing on computer screen, compared to text printed on paper. This becomes all the more significant if you hold the digital device closer to the eyes.

Eye fatigue, also referred to as digital eye strain is the most widespread problem faced by users who spend prolonged hours before computer screens without taking breaks. Continuous refocusing tires the focusing muscles within the eye, and that is a major reason for causing digital eye strain.

Risk Factors

Apart from the time you may be spending everyday looking at the computer screen, the other factors contributing to digital eye strain may be:

  • How near you are sitting to the computer screen or how closely you tend to keep these devices to eyes.
  • What for the devices are used? For instance action games cause quick eye strain, compared to surfing the net or going through an e-book.
  • How frequently you blink?
  • How frequently you take breaks when spending long hours before screen of your computer?
  • Do you have any problems related to your vision? You may have dry eyes or be using wrong reading glasses.

Indications and Symptoms

Here are the most usual indications or symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Red and or irritated eyes
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision while looking at the screen or device
  • Pain in the neck or back

How to reduce or prevent eye discomfort?

Fortunately, in most cases it is possible to reduce eye fatigue naturally, without taking any medicines. The best and easiest way to take control of eye strain while on computers is to take breaks. Taking frequent breaks, say every 20/30 minutes, helps relaxing your eye muscles. Looking at some distant object during breaks prompts you to blink eyes. It helps reducing symptoms of dry eyes.

Other measures that help decreasing eye discomfort:

  • Blink your eyes more often, at least after having finished reading a page.
  • Every 20/30 minutes leave your desk, stretch your body and relax the eyes.
  • Enhance the font size on computer screen.
  • Adjust the level of brightness / contrast on your devices.
  • Procure devices having higher resolution screens.
  • Always keep the device in use at a distance of ten to twelve inches from eyes.

Other than all the precautions and measures, it is very important to take healthy nutritious diet. You can consult a dietician for the purpose, although certain supplements available over the counter are also proved helpful.