The use of technology in our day-to-day life has always been under scrutiny to its adverse effects on our physical health and mental well-being. As people of all ages spend more time indoors during the COVID-19 quarantine, there are many risks for the increased digital strain caused by digital devices.
Usually, a digital strain is bad for the eyes, but it’s particularly tough on the eyes of a child because they are still developing. Whether it is for educational purposes or fun, children are spending a large portion of their time looking at digital screens, smartphones, and other digital devices. Even adults are suffering from many digital strain problems due to work from home.
Digital eye strain
Smartphones, computers, and TVs can provide hours of entertainment and people often use digital screens in order to complete their tasks. But, these devices can have an adverse effect on our health and this condition is known as digital strain.
Why do screens cause digital strain?
Normally, we blink our eyes every 15-20 times a minute. This spreads tears evenly over your eyes, which keeps them from getting dry and irritated. But, people often blink less than half as often, when they’re using digital screens. The background color of the screen, the glare, and flickering from screens can be hard on your eyes.
Effects of the digital strain
Due to more dependence on the online space and increased screen time over the past few months, there has been an increased number of complaints from parents regarding their kids. Extensive viewing of the computer screen by kids and adults results in almost the same symptoms. Here are a few symptoms of digital strain.
- Eye discomfort
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Back and neck pains
Viewing digital screens for extended periods is the major cause of this digital strain. There are few other reasons like poor lighting, glare, and improper workstation set-up, vision problems of which the person was not previously aware, or a combination of these factors. Children can experience many of the same symptoms as adults. However, some unique aspects of how children use computers may make them more susceptible than adults to the development of these problems.
Prevent Digital eye strain using these tips
- Make sure that your screen is about 25 inches or an arm’s length, away from your face.
- Exercise your eyes and follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Minimize glare, install an anti-glare screen protector, and use glasses with anti-reflective coating.
- Upgrade your device with the latest, high-resolution screen technology. Adjust the brightness of the screen to a comfortable level.
- Blink frequently to remoisten the surface of your eyes.
- To avoid headaches and neck pains, take short breaks every 30 minutes.
- Consult an eye-doctor and use computer glasses while using the computer.
- Use artificial tears which prevent tears and relieves you from dry eyes.
- Get regular eye-checkups. You might need to use a different pair of glasses when you’re working on a computer.
In the case of children, parents need to teach them the importance of positioning. Remind your child to blink frequently and explain how electronic devices affect their health. Regular eye-tests, consulting a proper eye-doctor, and proper viewing habits can help to prevent or reduce the symptoms associated with digital strain.