Talking About Digital Eye Strain: One Patient’s Story

Last Updated February 17, 2021

After a lifetime of wearing glasses and contacts, Katrina R. always expected to have laser vision correction: “I was one of those people who woke up not being able to see,” said the digital content creator who had her vision corrected with PRK in 2019.

She spoke to us about her reasons for choosing laser vision correction: “As for glasses, I never liked wearing them. I was one of those people who only wore them when absolutely necessary because, with my prescription, the lenses were really big. Even with anti-glare coating, I would still have problems seeing at night. In fact, I also had problems driving at night with contacts. With my line of work, I look at screens all day long and the eye strain was getting to be more and more of a problem. My contacts would get irritated often and sometimes particles would get stuck under my contacts, which created major issues for me.”

People in Katrina’s line of work are required to spend long hours in front of their computers and, like Katrina, often complain about the effects of digital eye strain. If the safer-at-home guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have you working remotely, between Zoom meetings and just getting the day’s work done, here’s what you might be experiencing:

While today it is difficult to limit screen time, taking care of your eyes is important. Here are a few tips for reducing the impact of staring at digital devices for long periods:

  1. Set a timer on your phone, tablet, or computer to remind yourself every 20 minutes to take a quick 20-second break from the screen.
  2. Use that time to get up, move and look around. Maybe go to the window and look at what is happening outside.  The point is to give your eyes the opportunity to focus on things in the distance, rather than up close.
  3. If you have more than 20 seconds, consider going for a quick walk around the block, that way you can get some steps in while giving your eyes a much-needed break.
  4. You can also take a moment for some self-care by closing your eyes for a few minutes while listening to music or a podcast.

Speaking of self-care, paying attention to the health and wellbeing of your eyes is an important part of it. If you are struggling with digital eye strain or other vision issues, or if it has been a while since your last eye exam, it is time to set up an appointment with your eye doctor.

Katrina did and today she is grateful to no longer have poor vision: “I’ve completely forgotten what it was like to rely on contacts and glasses. I’ve pretty much forgotten about having the procedure as I adjusted easily to my new eyesight and my vision feels so natural. I couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Your eye exam is a terrific opportunity to talk to your doctor about your vision correction options like LASIK and learn about the laser vision correction procedures that might be right for you.

Published February 17, 2021