Almost Three Quarters of Adults Report Digital Eye Strain

In a recent study performed by the Vision Council 70 percent of adults reported that they experience digital eye strain. The condition is marked by dry eyes, fatigue, pain in the neck and shoulders, and blurry vision. It's caused by extended viewing of digital screens, like those on computers, televisions, and phones.

The main problem, says one ophthalmology professor not affiliated with the study, is that people just don't blink enough while they're using the devices. Staring hampers the automatic blink response, and the spreading of tears it enables, resulting in dry eyes.

The council's report also indicated that the blue light emitted by the screens may cause a lot more than discomfort. Over time, they say, both macular degeneration and cataracts can result from spending hours in front of the displays.

As one means of diminishing the adverse effects, they recommend that specially coated and tinted computer glasses be used when spending long periods of time gazing at the computer. They also suggest following the 20-20-20 rule -- every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Further, arranging one's workstation so it has proper lighting and monitor settings could prove helpful.