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Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain – the term coined for eye strain that results from the use of digital displays – is increasing in nearly all demographics in Canada. A direct byproduct of our digitised society, digital eye strain may not cause serious vision-limiting symptoms, but it can create persistent symptoms that cause discomfort.

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Let Us Alleviate Digital Eye Strain


Our experienced opticians have helped many patients from Sidney manage eye strain and eye fatigue.

Causes of Digital Eye Strain


Digital eye strain is a result of how our eyes have evolved compared to the demands we place on them in modern society. Our eyes developed over the course of thousands of years and evolved to best meet the demands placed on them. For 99.99% of the time that humans have had modern eyes, staring at a singular point (as we do when using a phone or computer) was not a demand. Thus, our eyes are not well adapted to constantly focus.

This behaviour causes our eye focusing muscles to fatigue; this fatigue causes us to strain and squint even harder as we force ourselves to remain focused. The result of this process is a number of symptoms.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
  • Mild to moderate eye discomfort (a burning or itching sensation)
  • Difficulty focusing after prolonged periods of concentration (such as when reading)
  • Mild sensitivity to light
  • Neck or upper back pain
  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Headache
  • Heavy eyelids (difficulty keeping your eyes open)
How We Help Relieve Discomfort

We have a variety of tools at our disposal that will help alleviate the discomfort associated with digital eye strain.

First, you will meet with an opticians who will assess your overall eye health. This necessary first step ensures that you are not experiencing any other eye health problems.

We will then assess how you use your eyes on a daily basis and provide solutions based on your lifestyle and visual demands. These solutions can involve:

  • Vision therapy and/or habit retraining – Teaching new strategies and training your eyes to cope with the demands placed on them.
  • Computer glasses – Specialised glasses that magnify text when using a computer, making it easier for your eyes to focus on what they’re seeing.
  • High-energy visible light filters – High-energy visible light (HEV) is linked to eye strain. We can provide filters and specialized glasses that remove some or all HEV from reaching your eye.
  • Environmental modification – Changing your computer monitor’s position and ambient and adjusting light levels help to optimise your workspace.
  • Artificial eye lubrication (via eye drops)

Other specialty services offered by our Sidney optometrist include: Latisse treatment, LASIK consultations, specialty eyewear fitting and much more.

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