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 Eyestrain Awareness

Children watching television.

With booming technological advances in the world today, prolonged use of digital devices fueled by every day culture during work, school and recreational activities, have increased eyestrain dramatically for both adults and children. Common causes include digital devices, reading, driving long distances, being exposed to bright, dim or glaring light and eye problems such as dry eyes, allergies or uncorrected vision. Boys Town Ophthalmology shares ways to reduce eyestrain discomfort. 

Treatments and Lifestyle Tips

Individuals that look at screens two or more hours in a row on a daily basis are at the greatest risk for eyestrain issues. Treatments generally consist of making changes in daily habits and living environment. Consider these tips to reduce eyestrain.

  • Adjust Position and Lighting. Lighting and glare can make it difficult to see properly. When on a desktop, position the monitor about an arm's length away and have the top of the screen at or just below eye level. Adjust the contrast, brightness and size of the text to enhance viewing experience. Position the light source directly on the reading material. When reading at a desk, use a shaded light positioned in front to keep light from shining directly into the eyes. Try to keep the room softly lit when watching television with shades drawn to prevent harsh glares.
  • Take Breaks and Limit Screen Time. Children may not focus on the length and time of digital use and it is important to remind your child to take breaks between limited uses. Make sure to take incremented breaks every other hour and relax eye muscle tension by closing your eyes and taking deep breaths several times a day.
  • Blink and Moisturize Eyes. Blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh eyes. Don't forget to blink often during electronic use. Artificial tears can help prevent and relieve dry eyes as well. A physician may suggest which drops may fit individual needs. Use drops as directed by a physician to help prevent a recurrence of symptoms.
  • Improve Air Quality. Using a humidifier, adjusting the thermostat to reduce blowing air and by avoiding smoke, can all help improve the quality of the air in your house.
  • Proper Eyewear. Individuals may need treatment for an underlying eye condition and glasses or contacts may be prescribed for electronic use or reading. Ask your physician about sunglasses and tints that help with UV protection in the sun.

Schedule an Appointment

If you or your child experience eye discomfort, headache or vision changes, schedule an appointment and prepare a list to help target problems efficiently. List symptoms, times and medical information including conditions, medications and the last vision exam date. A physician will ask detailed questions about factors that might be causing symptoms and may perform an eye exam. Consult a Pediatric Ophthalmology specialist with any questions or concerns.