The Eye Gallery

Digital Eye Strain in Wichita

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Why We Experience Eye Strain

Digital eye strain is a bit of a misnomer. It’s not the digital devices themselves that cause eye strain, but the prolonged periods spent concentrating on specific tasks. These can include digital device use as well as:

  • Reading
  • Driving long distances
  • Exposure to bright light or glare
  • Straining to see in dim lighting
  • Working with an uncorrected refractive error
  • Exposure to dry, moving air from a fan, heating unit, or air-conditioning system

Eye strain can be exacerbated with device use because when we work on computers or smartphones, we tend to:

  • Blink less often
  • Use devices at unideal distances and angles
  • Use devices with screen glare or reflections
  • Use devices with poor screen contrast and brightness

Additionally, when we read or focus on a display, our eye focusing muscles begin to fatigue. Because of this, reading and computer usage are both known to be major causes of eye strain.

Symptoms of Eye Strain

Although symptoms are temporary and generally mild, they can also be uncomfortable and even painful. Symptoms include:

  • Eye fatigue (hard to keep your eyes open)
  • Sore, burning, or itchy eyes
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Sore neck, shoulders, and upper back
  • Headaches
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating

Treatments to Relieve Eye Strain

To confirm that your discomfort is caused by eye strain and not an underlying eye condition, you should have a comprehensive eye exam.

During this exam, Dr. Baldwin will assess your focusing system to determine the best way to relieve your eye strain. She may prescribe glasses with specialized features designed to alleviate eye strain caused by computers, smartphones, and other devices.

These may be spectacles you could wear all the time or ones you may only wear while doing heavy computer work.

Avoid Eye Strain With These Best Practices

Eye strain can be avoided and alleviated with simple moderations to your environment and habits. Taking frequent breaks (such as getting up every hour to go to the water cooler) gives the eyes a reprieve from intense focusing and introduces mobility and variation in posture.

You can also follow the 20/20/20 rule to remind yourself to take a break: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This forces the eyes to focus on something else, giving your eye muscles a chance to relax.

Environmental changes like reducing glare and increasing ambient lighting make it easier for the eye to focus, reducing strain on the muscles.

Adopting proper workplace ergonomics will also help reduce eye strain, headaches, and sore neck and back muscles. Keep your monitor at arm’s length, keep your wrists straight and hands at or below elbow level, and choose a chair that supports and encourages proper posture.

Visit Us for Relief of Your Symptoms

Schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Baldwin. She will assess your eye strain and provide appropriate next steps to treat and manage symptoms.

Our Services

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12330 E. 21st St. N.
Wichita, KS 67206

Contact Information

Phone: (316) 315-0321
info@eyegalleryks.com

Our Hours

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9 AM5 PM
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9 AM6 PM
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