What is electronic device eye strain and how do I prevent it?

With more people working from home and children attending virtual classes, eye fatigue has never been more prevalent in today’s digital age. It is a common ailment and can be easily treated through rest and helpful technology. Let’s break down eye strain, what causes it and how you can treat it at home.

What is eye strain?

Eye strain and fatigue happens during or after using your eyes for an extended period of time. It’s a common condition that presents itself in many people who work with a computer or other electronic device. It’s not considered to be serious. However, consult your doctor if your eye fatigue worsens and does not improve despite trying preventative methods. This could be a sign of a more serious issue.

What are the symptoms?

Eye strain can usually be identified by tired, itchy eyes. You may feel that your eyes are burning after staring at a screen for so long. You may also experience some trouble trying to focus due to the pain. Your eyes may be overly dry and water easily, creating blurred vision. You will also be more sensitive to bright light. Your neck, back and shoulders may be sore as well. This indicates that you may have been working for too long.

Eye strain should not cause an extreme change in your vision. It also shouldn’t cause unbearable discomfort. If you are struggling to deal with your eye fatigue symptoms, consult your doctor for more help.  

What causes eye strain?

Eye strain can be caused by anything that requires your eyes to be focused for a prolonged period of time. This could be anything from reading to driving every day. Digital eye strain is the most common type of eye fatigue.

Other causes include:

  • Working on a computer
  • Using your phone
  • Reading
  • Looking at bright lights
  • Trying to do work in a dimly lit space

How can I prevent it?

Blink more often 

Blinking is a way for your eye to take a breather and refresh itself. While working on the computer, people tend to blink less than when they are doing other things. If you suffer from tired eyes after working on your computer, it may be a good idea to put a little Post-It note on your screen with a reminder to blink.

Take a break 

You should be taking regular breaks from your computer work to avoid eye strain. Many people like to work by a rule to keep them accountable. For example, you can work for 30 minutes and take a 15 minute break afterwards. You can customize these blocks of time to work within your day.


 Sleeping is the best way of taking care of your body and ensuring it is rested for the next day. During the night, your eyes are able to recover so you can wake up feeling refreshed. Make sure you are not staying up late or using your devices after a certain time. Give yourself plenty of time to recover and let your eyes rest.

Clean off your screen

Having a dirty screen can actually make it harder for you to focus on the actual screen. To avoid this issue, make sure to wipe off your computer screens daily. 

Use blue light glasses 

If you’re using a traditional LCD monitor, the light coming off the screen may be causing you eye fatigue and painful headaches. To give your eyes some relief, invest in a pair of blue light glasses. The glasses have a helpful tint that will help your eyes feel less strained.

Use an e-ink display

E-ink displays are commonly used for reading tablets such as the Amazon Kindle. They do not use any bright colors. They also use less power than traditional LCD monitors. The greyscale display lessens the amount of eye strain caused by your regular computers. However, these sorts of displays are an investment. Luckily for your eyes, shop-eink offers a large selection of premium e-ink displays - shop for e-ink monitors here.

 Use eye drops

 Eye drops can be a really helpful tool if you find yourself suffering from dryness due to eye strain. Use a few drops in each eye every day to keep that dry, itchy feeling at bay.

 Apply a wet compress

 During one of your work breaks, take a wet compress and lay it over your eyes for a few minutes. You can do either a warm or cold compress. Either way, it will help your eyes take a break.

 Overall, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. While eye strain can cause you pain, it’s not explicitly linked to permanent eye damage. As long as you eliminate the cause of the fatigue, you can continue to live and work as you normally do.