Eye strain is a real problem, especially in today’s world of digital screens. However, it does not mean you need to completely give up your favorite activities. If a movie marathon on a rainy day is your idea of the perfect Sunday afternoon, just make sure you understand the dangers of eye strain. Here’s what to watch out for and what you can do to reduce the effects.
What Causes Eye Strain While Watching Movies or TV
Our daily lives are very geared toward the use of electronics. So it stands to reason that we spend many hours every day staring at a digital screen. When you add in a movie or two, the strain on your eyes can be overwhelming. Watching TV or movies requires your eyes to focus differently than when looking at printed material. A computer or tablet monitor, or a TV screen, can add in contrast, flickering light and glare. Additionally, when watching TV in a dark room, your eyes must constantly adjust to different levels of light from the screen. All of these factors require your eyes to work harder and eye strain to occur.
What Does Eye Strain Feel Like
So how do you know if you are actually experiencing eye strain? Look for these common symptoms:
- Blurred vision or trouble focusing
- Dryness or watery eyes
- Sore or tired eyes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased light sensitivity
- Pain in the shoulders, neck or back
How to Reduce Eye Strain from Digital Screens
There are some things you can do to reduce some of the eye strain that usually accompanies watching TV or movies. The farther you sit from the screen, the better. In fact, it’s best to stay 8 to 10 feet from the screen if possible (or more, if the screen is very large). Also, try to have at least some light on while watching, to avoid the extreme eye fatigue that can occur in very dark rooms. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to give your eyes a break every once in a while. For instance, look away from the screen every 30 minutes or so, and close your eyes frequently to allow them to rest a bit.
Vision Therapy for Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, can often be successfully treated with vision therapy treatments. After extended periods of time using a digital screen, some people may experience continued problems with their vision. In particular, blurred vision, tired eyes or neck pain may begin to worsen. Also, current vision conditions such as farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia could become more serious after continued screen use. Through a series of precise vision therapy eye exercises, our patients can often recover normal visual skills.
Contact us at 630-862-2020 to learn more or visit us online for additional information about the dedicated team at Family Vision Development Center.
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