It happened again. You went to work, and by noon, your eyes were dry, itchy, and tired. You’ve even started getting headaches and pain in your shoulders and neck. It could be your toxic work environment, but more likely, it’s digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain can happen to anyone who is in front of a screen for lengthy periods of time. That includes phones, tablets, computers, and televisions. If you’re planning on resting your eyes in front of the tube when you get home, that’s a bad idea.
Get excited: The team at Stoggles has the solution. We’ll explain what eye strain is, what causes it, how long it lasts, and what you can do to get relief and prevent it from happening in the future.
What Is Eye Strain?
You can develop eye strain without looking at a digital device. If you’re spending hours in the library studying or even focusing on tedious activities (like jewelry-making), it’s possible to develop eye strain. Most commonly, however, it happens as a result of exposure to screens.
Your Screen Time
Eye strain is also known as Computer Vision Syndrome, or “CVS.” After staring at screens for long periods of time, there are two components that start to cause your eyes to feel tired and experience uncomfortable symptoms. Both glare and blue light can wreak havoc on your eyes after you’ve been staring at a screen too long.
What Are the Symptoms of CVS?
The first symptom you’ll probably notice is that your eyes feel dry. When staring at a screen of any type, we naturally blink less. Blinking is what keeps your eyes properly lubricated, so if you’re blinking less, your eyes will have a harder time staying moist.
Other symptoms of CVS include:
- Itching, watering, or burning sensations in the eyes
- Blurry vision
- Neck, shoulder, and/or back pain
These symptoms may come and go, and you might experience some or all of them from time to time.
What Causes Eye Strain?
Everyone is on a device at some point, so how come some people develop eye strain while others don’t? That’s not a clear-cut answer. Some people may be more sensitive to glare and blue light than others. What we do know is that the risk of developing eye strain increases with the amount of time you spend staring at a screen.
Typically, symptoms of eye strain begin somewhere after the two-hour screen time mark. If you are in front of a screen with no breaks for two hours, you’ll probably begin to notice dry eyes or even headaches. After the three-hour point, these symptoms intensify, and you might be in full eyeball meltdown mode.
How Long Does Eye Strain Last?
Once you’ve got it, you want to know how long it will last. Experts believe the symptoms usually go away on their own after you’ve pulled your eyes away from screens for more than an hour. You might not experience total relief in an hour’s time, but you’ll probably feel a lot better and be able to function.
Stepping away is a great solution, but what if that's not possible? Your employer might not be supportive of your decision to quietly quit at your desk because your eyes hurt. Thankfully, there are some other solutions that are more practical.
Solutions for Eye Strain
Need practical solutions to help give you relief without shutting down your computer, turning off the tablet, or stowing your smartphone? We’ve got you covered.
You’re blinking less, which starts the process of having dry eyes. Blinking more frequently (and intentionally) might result in an unwanted Slack message from an interested coworker, so you can always rely on eye drops instead. Artificial tears will help keep your eyes lubricated and will also encourage you to blink.
Preservative-free artificial tears are generally considered safe for daily use but check with your eye doctor to find out if there’s a specific brand they prefer and to make sure they’re safe for your eyes.
Checking Your Ergonomics
If your computer screen is positioned lower than eye level, it can cause tension in your shoulders and neck because you’re looking down continually. Elevate your screen to eye level, and also consider purchasing a screen cover that prevents glare.
Glare can contribute to eye strain and make it more difficult to focus. If you can’t get a screen cover, make sure the light of your screen is always dimmer than the natural light around you. This will help reduce glare.
The 20/20/20 Rule
Whether watching television or seated behind a computer screen, the 20/20/20 Rule is a good solution for ensuring you don’t develop eye strain. The rule is simple. For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to stare at something 20 feet away from you. This helps ensure your eyes are getting a break and could even help you refocus on your work.
A Fresh Eye Exam
If you’ve been behind a screen for years and only recently begun developing eye strain, the problem could be with your vision or your corrective lens prescription. Getting an eye exam can determine if there have been any changes to your vision that need to be corrected and can dramatically reduce the amount of eye strain you experience.
If you’re in the over-40 club, you need an eye exam every two years. Vision changes with age and the development of presbyopia (farsightedness) is inevitable. Taking care of these changes can help you see clearly and reduce your eye strain.
Blue Light-Blocking Glasses
More than a cool trend, blue light-blocking glasses filter away intrusive light emitted from screens of all types. Blue light, like UV light, comes from the sun, but it also comes from tablets, computers, LED televisions, smartphones, and LED light bulbs.
Glasses that have special blue light-filtering lenses direct this light away from your eyes, which can significantly reduce the amount of eye strain you experience. The study of blue light’s impact on our vision is relatively new. We still aren’t sure what kind of damage it can do, but we know that, like UV light, it can enter the cornea and travel back to the retina.
It’s worth it to wear blue light-blocking glasses to protect against any damage this light could be doing to your vision. Just so you know, every pair of Stoggles we create comes with blue light filtering lenses to keep your eyes safe, whether you’re in front of a screen or in the sunlight.
Keeping Your Eyes Safe and Healthy
There’s more than just blue light out to get your eyes. Keeping your eyes safe is important because your vision relies on it. Retinal cells (which give you the ability to see) don’t regenerate. When they’re damaged, a part of your vision is permanently lost.
At Stoggles, we offer a new category of eyewear that offers protection for virtually every eye-endangering situation. We also wrap this protection up in frame styles and colors that are stylish, flattering, and effortlessly comfortable.
In addition to blue light-blocking lenses, we add a lot of bells and whistles to our specs.
Impact and Shatter Resistance
Eyewear that takes a hit or a strike can send shards of glass or other material into your eyes. We test our eyewear to meet the ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification standard. This test separates eyewear that can withstand high-velocity impact and the glasses that crack under pressure like a piece of peanut brittle.
Blue Light and UV Protection
Blue light and UV light can penetrate the cornea and reach the retina. We know that UV light can damage retinal cells and even cause early-onset macular degeneration. Our Stoggles are made with polycarbonate material, which blocks UV light naturally without making your lenses darker.
Need a little more shade? Stoggles Dimmers™ have UV reactive lenses that darken when exposed to blue light and return to crystal clear when the light is gone.
Fogging eyewear isn’t convenient, and wiping your glasses on your shirt could damage your lenses. Flip off the fog with fog-resistant lenses. Stoggles are coated with an anti-fogging compound that keeps your eyewear fog-free for the long haul.
This coating isn’t your ordinary spray coating. We leveled up: Our proprietary coating is extra even and extra longer-lasting. We’re just extra like that.
Side and Top Shields
Regular glasses can leave your eyes vulnerable in places like the sides of your temples and the space near your eyebrows. Keep them covered with top and side shields that provide low-profile coverage. Sleek, awesome, and in cool, trendy colors? Is it eyewear or is it a sports car?
Relax Your Eyes With Stoggles
You’re probably not going to quit your day job, so you may as well take measures to prevent digital eye strain. Grabbing a pair of Stoggles is a great way to start. Protecting your eyes from blue light (and about a million other external aggressors out to get your eyes) is easy. Pop on your Stoggles and face your day confidently and without the discomfort of eye strain.