Your Eye Health, Virtual Learning And Digital Eye Strain

Digital Eye Strain And Virtual Leaning

COVID-19 today can be characterized as similar to the yearly flu, and it isn’t going away. This is obvious based on new sub-variants emerging at this time threatening to disrupt the school year 2022-23, therefore, increasing the need and use of virtual learning/online classes. The back-to-school year 2022-2023 is approaching very fast, and there are many questions regarding COVID-19 and the school safety protocols.   During the 2022-2023 school year many schools (K-12) and colleges will offer -in-person, hybrid, and virtual learning classes.  The main cause of digital eye strain is the extended use of computers or other digital devices such as mobile phones, iPads, and computers. The global online learning market is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025. Regardless of the option that will be used, there will be computers or other forms of digital learning technologies.

The increased use of virtual learning with computers, mobile devices, and tablets for schoolwork will result in a great deal of time spent in front of screens causing strain on the eyes, digital eye strain. UCF reports that recent research demonstrates, on average, that students learning online retain 25% to 60% of the material, compared with only 8% to 10% in a classroom. Additionally, online learning will allow students to learn at their own pace, requiring 40% to 60% less time to study than in a traditional classroom setting.

Virtual Learning And Digital Eye Strain

The American Optometric Association (AOA) reports that spending hours in front of digital screens has led to the emergence of an eye condition known as digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome.  Digital eye strain refers to a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged use of a digital device. The more time students spent online, the more likely they were to experience eye strain and convergence insufficiency, with 57 percent of students experiencing eye strain and 61 percent showing symptoms of convergence insufficiency. Of the students experiencing convergence insufficiency, 17 percent were considered severe cases. Symptoms of convergence insufficiency are:

  • Tired or sore eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Headaches
  • Trouble concentrating

Convergence insufficiency is usually followed by a decreased near point of convergence (NPC), decreased convergence amplitudes, or an exodeviation at near. A new research report from ophthalmologists at Wills Eye Hospital confirms that excess screen time did lead to more eye strain in children. The study also suggests that there is convergence insufficiency, a troubling eye condition, resulting from eye strain making it difficult to read. Digital eye strain, causing eye and vision-related problems, occurs when there is excess exposure to a computer screen or other digital devices. Symptoms include:

  • Eye Discomfort
  • Eye Fatigue
  • Dry eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Uncorrected vision/hidden health problems may also contribute to eye strain

 Avoiding/Reducing Eye Strain

The Mayo Clinic reports that treatment for eyestrain consists of adjusting to your daily habits or your environment. There may be underline conditions that require some individuals to have treatment. Also

Below are things that you can do to avoid and or reduce eye strain:

  • Wear glasses for specific activities like computer use and or reading
  • Take regular eye breaks to help refocus your eyes
  • Close blinds and/or shades
  • Avoid placing your monitor directly in front of a window or white wall
  • Place an anti-glare cover over the screen
  • Adjust your monitor to a position that reduces strain
  • Always put the monitor directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level

 The Mayo Clinic Suggests The Following Specific To Behavior And Lifestyle

  • Adjust the lightning
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Limit time on a computer screen and digital devices
  • Use artificial tears
  • Improve your space air quality
  • Choose the appropriate eyewear
Tips For Computers And Other Digital Devices (Mayo Clinic)
  • Refresh your eyes by blinking often
    • Take eye breaks, the 20-20-20 rule; look at something every 20 minutes, 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
  • Reduce your glare by adjusting the lighting
  • Adjust your monitor/adjust the position of your digital device
  • Use a document holder
  • Adjust the screen

Contact us immediately if you are experiencing any eye strain conditions. We are here for you to answer all your question about eye strain resulting from too much computer and digital devices exposure, and how to protect your children in the digital technology era.

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Wilck Schwartz & Novack OD PC
Complete Eye Care
445 Kings Highway, Suite 1
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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Monday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Tuesday: 10:00PM - 6:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Friday: Closed
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Sunday: Closed