Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a group of problems with your eyes and vision caused by reading text on a computer screen or other digital device for several hours. Digital eye strain usually arises when the device is used in a poorly lit environment, held too close to the eyes or at the wrong angle, or when the glare from the screen is particularly high. Having pre-existing, uncorrected vision problems can also cause digital eye strain.
The most common symptoms of digital eye strain are headaches, dry or itchy eyes, eye fatigue, and blurred or double vision.
There are solutions; you just need to know where to look for them.
Digital eye strain can be avoided by taking frequent breaks from looking at the screen and adjusting the positioning of the screen, the posture of the user, and the level of light in the room. Another important step to take in order to minimize the chances of digital eye strain is using blue light filters—newer versions of Windows and Android have an in-built one—and wearing glasses specifically designed to block blue light—see this shop Felix Gray coupon for some good deals. Using lubricating eye drops can help relieve the symptoms of digital eye strain.
Digital devices are extensively used in the classroom, and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually every student in the US will have had at least some experience of being schooled through virtual lessons. There are even a few entirely virtual schools, and some schools have the explicit mission of making extensive use of technology. In addition to all this, most young people spend vast amounts of time using electronic devices outside of school, whether for homework, socializing, or entertainment. While few children and teenagers probably reach the same level of daily computer usage as the average office worker, many undoubtedly come close.
Given all this, it is imperative that schools start teaching their students about the dangers of digital eye strain and providing them with the knowledge and resources they need to maintain good eye health in the classroom.
Intervention is an absolute must that schools and teachers should not dismiss.
This intervention could take the form of health classes focused on the prevention and treatment of digital eye strain, and the principles taught in these classes should be reinforced by all teachers in their daily practice. For example, teachers should remind their students to adopt the correct posture while using electronic devices during lessons, to activate their device’s blue light filter, and to use blue light glasses and lubricating eye drops. Ideally, schools should be given district, state, or federal funding to purchase both blue light glasses and lubricating eye drops for their students, or at least for those students on a low income, to ensure that all their students’ health is treated as equally important. Beyond this, school schedules should be modified to include frequent short breaks from device use.
We live in an age where parents have little time to teach their kids about digital health. The school curriculum is the optimal way to ensure that all kids grow up knowing how to take care of themselves in this increasingly digital world.
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Brett is the Managing Editor of this website. A former business executive turned teacher, activist, and writer, Brett also operates an anonymous Twitter account with a very large following.