ROCHESTER, Minn. - Whether you're working from home or doing distance learning during the pandemic, many of us are experiencing a lot more screen time. Staring at a screen for a long period of time can lead to inconvenient symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and dry eyes.
Dr. Larry Addison is a local optometrist at Total Vision Eyecare. He tells KIMT News 3 he's seeing patients of all ages coming in with digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome.
Dr. Addison said this is caused by more near focusing. The natural resting state of eyes is actually far away. He explains staring at a screen causes us to blink less which explains dry eyes. The glare from the computer doesn't help matters either.
Symptoms can be treated by either computer glasses, artificial tears, or special lenses; whether they be anti-glare, anti-fatigue, or blue light blocking.
"There's options to help patients in almost of those situations," Dr. Addison said. "So while it's something new that we're all dealing with in this digital world, it's not something that isn't fixable."
Dr. Addison also mentioned the 20-20-20 rule to help alleviate digital eye strain. That's where every 20 minutes, you look away for 20 seconds at about 20 feet away.