How Digital Devices Affect Your Eyes

The Internet might be the greatest invention ever. Close to half the population of the world is using the internet today. Companies that create devices that use the internet have continued to bring in new and upgraded devices, to compete with the others that do, as well as to ensure that the population that uses them, is satisfied and comes for an upgraded version of the same.

From computers, to tablets and now to mobile phones, internet usage has driven everyone crazy. Almost everyone is now a Millenial, when it comes to digital devices. A person will use up to 9 hours a day on a digital device, be it the phone, tablet or PC.

Most of these devices however, emit high-energy visible (HEV) light or blue-light which has potential long-term effects to the retinal cells of the eyes.

Computer Vision Syndrome:

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is the physical eye discomfort felt by many individuals after spending some hours in front of a digital screen. Being in front of a digital screen for 2 hours is enough to cause eyestrain. Unfortunately, up to 90% of computer users, have experienced CVS symptoms.

A study on heavy computer users in the US found that their tear fluids have become similar to those with dry eye disease.

Symptoms of CVS:

  • Redness, irritation or dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • General fatigue
  • Back and neck pains
  • Headaches


Effects of CVS:

  • CVS can cause the productivity in school and word reduce by up to 20%.
  • The blinking rate of a person reduces significantly when using a digital screen.
  • Blue light exposure has been linked with retinal damage.

cautionThe retina cannot regenerate or be replaced. Retinal cell damage puts your eyes at risk of long-term visual issues such as Myopia (short-sightedness) and Hyperopia (long-sightedness), Astigmatism and Presbyopia.


Number one: adjust the brightness of your device(s). Lessen the light that competes with your device’s screen. Wipe your screen regularly in order to reduce the glare. This will reduce the negative effects the screens have on the eyes.

Where possible, adjust the text size and contrast on your devices to optimum levels.

Keep the computers and laptops at arms’ length. This is to avoid straining the back and neck.


 This Is What You Should Do:

  1. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Look away from your screen every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, as about 20 feet away, in order to recharge the eyes and normalize the blink rate.
  2. Every 30 minutes, step away from the screen and stretch your neck, arms and shoulders
  3. Rub your palms briskly together and place them over your eyes to soothe the strain
  4. Remember to blink once in a while while working


Where the situation is beyond personal control, consult an optician. Ask them to provide you with lenses tailor-fit for digital eyestrain. You might also want to ask them to provide you with blue coat digital lenses. They can help protect you from blue light exposure.


You may also use eyeglasses or sunglasses. Whether prescribed or not, go for the protective coated ones, that filter indoor and outdoor ultra-violet light, helping your eyes in the process.


Take an eye exam annually, even if you are wearing (prescribed) glasses. Constant use of digital devices increases the risk of vision-related issues.

Post Author: Mũigai Mũya

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