Dealing with Digital Fatigue


As technology advances, people of all ages spend more and more time glued to their digital screens.

Some can spend up to 9 hours of their day working and / or playing on their screens. This eventually causes their eyes to become exhausted from such long hours of exposure and may cause a condition known as digital fatigue.

What is digital fatigue?

This is an eye and vision related problem that is caused by the extensive use of common digital devices such as computers, TVs, e-readers, and tablets. This eventually leads to fatigue or blurred vision, dryness, eye irritation and more.

Effects of digital fatigue

The eyes contain the strongest muscles in the body. However, if you subject them to too much work by sitting in front of a TV or computer, they can become strained and tired. Lifestyle changes, coupled with modern ways of working, forces people to spend extended hours in close range activities engaged with a screen.

Some knock on effects include:

  • Reduction in productivity

Digital fatigue may cause your body to suffer eyestrain, neck, shoulder and back pain. You will not be able to work to the best of your ability with an aching body.

  • Inability to concentrate

Spending too much time looking at your digital devices may cause eye fatigue and headaches. These conditions may result in the reduction of concentration. 

  • Poor visual health

Most digital devices emit harmful blue-violet light that damages eyesight in the end. You may start experiencing eye fatigue, blurry vision, and dry eyes. 

  • Migraines

Digital fatigue may cause you headaches. These headaches can be accompanied by associated symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light. You may also experience flashing dots, wavy lines, and temporary blindness due to this migraine. 

What can be done about digital fatigue?

1. Eyewear

There are different types of eyewear with lenses that help reduce digital fatigue. These lenses can be incorporated into any pair of glasses. Those already wearing glasses should also consider getting a current prescription that includes the unique visual demands when using a digital screen.

2. Annual eye exam

Getting regular eye care will help prevent or reduce the development of digital fatigue.

3. Take breaks from using digital devices

Ensure that you do not get too close to a screen or spend too many hours behind one. Rest your eyes after every 2 hours of continuous digital screen use, for at least 15 minutes. 

4. Have a digital holiday

Try to set aside blocks of time like the weekend when you can get away from your screens completely. If going on holiday, leave the screens at home and use your phone as a phone and not a communications centre

Summary

The extent to which you will experience digital fatigue will depend on how much time you spend looking into your digital screen. Ensure that you visit your health professional as soon as you start experiencing the symptoms outlined above. Otherwise, if you do not use them, they might worsen with extended digital screen use.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.

https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/content/digital-eye-strain/teens

http://thinkaboutyoureyes.com/articles/eye-problems-diseases/digital-fatigue

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome?sso=y