Stoney Creek Eye Care & Eyewear Boutique - Dr. L Bahoshy & Assoc.
15 Mountain Ave S #110 Stoney Creek ON L8G 2V6 (905) 662-8863
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(289) 205-2338

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Stoney Creek, ON
(905) 662-8863

devices that cause digital eye strain laid out on a wood desk

How Digital Eye Strain Happens & How You Prevent It

Man in front of a laptop rubbing his eyes because of digital eye strain.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, encompasses a number of visual issues, from discomfort to dry eye, caused by the use of digital devices. In other words, digital eye strain is discomfort caused by using computers, tablets, and phones.

Around 90% of people who spend more than 3 hours per day using a digital device, including children, will experience some degree of digital eye strain. This is because our eyes weren’t designed to do the same, repetitive activities for hours on end. When we do, our eyes grow tired and strained, just like any other muscle in our body would after repeated use.

Our eyes exert extra focusing effort when we use digital devices. It can happen to anyone who uses a digital device for extended periods of time whether you’re checking work emails on your tablet, scrolling Facebook on your phone, or playing video games on your PC.

How to Tell if You Have Digital Eye Strain

There are a number of different symptoms of digital eye strain as well as factors that can increase your risk. 

Symptoms

Many people with digital eye strain will experience some or all of the following symptoms.

  • Dry eyes
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Drowsiness or heavy eyelids
  • Sore or itchy eyes
  • Headache
  • Sore neck or shoulders
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Risk Factors

  • Using a digital device for 3 hours or more per day
  • Having your computer or another digital device closer than an arm’s length away from your face
  • Dim lighting or excessively bright lighting or glare when using your digital device

It’s important to discuss these factors with your optometrist as well as what activities you commonly use your digital device for. Discussing your use habits will help your optometrist determine whether your symptoms are from digital eye strain or a more serious condition.

The Link Between Digital Eye Strain & Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common symptom of digital eye strain. One study found that 27.2% of people experiencing digital eye strain reported dry eye as one of their symptoms. Using digital devices decreases your blink rate, which can dry out your eyes. 

On average, you blink 12 times per minute, but when using digital devices your blink rate drops to only 5 times per minute. Less blinking means a greater chance of your tears evaporating, which can cause dry eye. Repeated back and forth movements, like from reading text on a screen, can also worsen irritation and exacerbate dry eye symptoms. 

Man preventing digital eyestrain while using a phone and laptop.

How to Prevent & Manage Digital Eye Strain

From keeping your screen free of fingerprints and dust (yes, really) to adjusting your workspace, there are many simple ways you can help reduce the impact of screens on your eyes.

Improve Desk Ergonomics 

Whether it’s for work or play, how you organize your computer area can have a big impact on your eye health and your overall comfort. Make sure that your computer monitor is an arm’s length away from your face. Position your monitor so it’s at or slightly below eye level and adjusted to reduce glare.

For the rest of your body, make sure you’re seated in a way that allows your neck, shoulders, and arms to relax. Your back should be supported by your chair and your thighs should be parallel with the ground with your feet flat on the floor (or supported by a footrest).

Diagram explaining proper desk ergonomics to prevent digital eye strain.

Adjust Screen Brightness & Settings

The brightness of your screen should match your surroundings; not overly bright but also not so dim that text is difficult to read. Increasing contrast or adjusting your screen’s colours can also help. Some monitors have an “eye saver” or “eye care” mode that can help reduce eye strain by reducing brightness or giving your screen a yellow tint. 

Increasing text size on your computer can be helpful as well. If you find yourself continuously needing to increase text size on your computer, however, it could be a sign of presbyopia.

Take Regular Breaks (20-20-20 Rule)

Short, regular breaks can go a long way in improving your eye comfort. The 20-20-20 rule is a good way to remember to give your eyes a much-needed break. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away.

Wear Protective Lenses

Anti-glare or blue light filtering lenses can help block types of light that strain our eyes. Anti-glare lenses can help block glare, which can be helpful if you’re exposed to a lot of glare from your computer screen, like from fluorescent lights, for example.

Blue light filtering lenses help to filter out blue light. Blue light is a naturally occurring type of light ray that is emitted by the sun and digital devices like computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones. It may be linked with digital eye strain, as blue light reduces contrast, making screens more difficult to read. Both glasses and contacts are available with blue light filters, although glasses are usually the most effective option as they shield your entire eye.

Dry Eye Treatments

If your digital eye strain symptoms include dry eye, dry eye treatments may help. Eye drops, or artificial tears, can help reduce discomfort during long days in front of the computer. Your optometrist will be able to recommend the best treatment option and determine whether your dry eye is due to digital eye strain or if there is another cause.

Written by Dr. Louis P. Bahoshy

Dr. Bahoshy attended the University of Waterloo, where he graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc), as well as a Doctor of Optometry (OD) Degree.

As part of his optometry training, Dr. Bahoshy completed an externship at the prestigious Omni Eye Institute in Baltimore, gaining extensive experience in diagnosing and managing ocular health conditions. He worked alongside a pediatric ophthalmologist at their satellite location in White Marsh.

While in optometry school, Dr. Bahoshy spent two summers as a researcher at the world-renowned Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR) at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, learning about the latest in contact lens technology.

Dr. Bahoshy began practicing at Stoney Creek Eye Care (formerly known as Dueck Optometry) in 2001. In October 2017, Dr. Bahoshy became the clinic’s new owner, continuing the commitment of serving Stoney Creek and the surrounding community.

Today, Dr. Bahoshy is an active member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO), the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), and the Hamilton and District Society of Optometrists. He is also an affiliate doctor at TLC Laser Eye Centres.

When not seeing patients, Dr. Bahoshy enjoys swimming, going to the gym, and spending time with his wife Cynthia, and their two young boys, Pierre and Leo.

More Articles by Dr. Louis P. Bahoshy

Our Vision in Action

At Stoney Creek Eye Care & Eyewear Boutique our trusted team of eye doctors is committed to providing you with high-quality eye care, stylish frames, and personalized attention. We offer a wide variety of services, including:

Convenient Location, Extended Hours,
and Direct Billing

We understand that life is hectic. We want to help make it a little simpler, which is why our centrally-located practice offers extended hours on Mondays and Saturdays. We’re also happy to directly bill most major insurance companies on your behalf. And on top of all that? We’ve got plenty of free parking. Stoney Creek Eye Care & Eyewear Boutique will always do whatever we can to make your life a little easier, located in the Health Science Building.

Stoney Creek Eye Care & Eyewear Boutique

  • 15 Mountain Ave S #110
  • Stoney Creek, ON L8G 2V6

Contact Information

Clinic Hours

  • Monday9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Friday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • SundayClosed

Eyeglass Frames & Lenses

A truly complete eye care experience includes the best eyewear the world has to offer. Our Boutique is well-stocked with globally-recognized brands like Dior, Ray-Ban, Kate Spade, Fossil, and much more.

But of course, your eyewear is much more than just your frames. We offer Zeiss lenses; the paragon of quality lens technology. By pairing the best in optical lenses with filters and coatings for improved performance, Stoney Creek Eye Care & Eyewear Boutique is here to help you look your best, see your best, and feel your best.

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