Manish Panjiyar, M.Optom Student

M. Optom Student, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, A unit of Medical Research Foundation in collaboration with The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R Medical University, Chennai.


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Digital Eye Strain(DES) is related to vision and eye problems associated which is associated with the usage of digital devices like computers (desktop, laptop, and tablets) and other electronic displays (smartphones and electronic reading devices). (1)

The usage of digital devices has now become an essential part of daily life. People across the world are using digital devices in most aspects of vocational as well as non-vocational activities. A recent survey among American adults showed that 65% of them experienced some sort of digital eye strain after prolonged use of digital devices. (2)

Optimum refractive correction is considered as the first line of management for DES.(1) The mode of Contact lens correction is considered as one of the risk factors for abnormal tear physiology due to reduced tear film thickness which is caused by friction between the contact lens surface and edges with the ocular surface.(3) Studies have shown that contact lens wearers are more likely to symptoms of dryness as compared to spectacle wearers and emmetropes.(4-7)  Contact lenses probably increase the risk of DES because they contribute to symptoms of dryness, which is the most commonly reported complaint. (7)


Figure 1: Symptomatology of Digital Eye strain: Blink and Contact lens wear related (8)


Contact lens, Lens solution, modality related Additional modifications
Change in lens design and/or material: example- smooth edges, upgrading hydrogel users to silicone hydrogel Change in contact lens care system or care solution: changing the lens care solution in accordance with the contact lens material Tear Supplementation Lubricating/Wetting drops: these drops help to reduce ocular discomfort and enhance wearing time
Blinking behaviour: frequent and complete blink Incorporation of Wetting Agent in contact lens material: usage of lenses which consists of internal wetting agent Nutrition/Dietary Supplementation: fatty acids as omega 3 and omega 6
Elimination of the care system: change to daily disposable Adjusting Replacement Frequency: among wearers of soft contact lenses for an extended period, daily disposable lenses are recommended rather than monthly or quarterly Environmental modification: direct exposure to air-conditioning or fan should be avoided and conditions as Dust, pollution, or smoke use of protective eyewear


Latest Approach in management strategies:
  • Incorporation of Internal Wetting Agent:

Impregnation on internal wetting agents into contact lens materials have been shown to improve the wettability of lens surface, reducing symptoms of dryness, and increase in wearing time. Wetting agents as Hyaluronic Acid (HA) or Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) are incorporated in the silicon hydrogel contact lens which increases the hydrophilicity and equilibrium water content of hydrogels without affecting the transparency of the contact lens. (10)

  • Shifting from single vision to low add multifocal optics design:

Studies have suggested that low add multifocal optics which reduce the accommodative demand of the wearers while using digital devices having symptoms of eye fatigue can help to reduce the subjective symptoms when compared with the contact lens of the same material with spherical optical design. (11)

  • Contact lens specifically designed for digital lifestyle:

Biofinity Energy from cooper vision (Figure 2) contact lenses is made with special Digital Zone Optics lens design (Figure 3) with aqua-form technology (Figure 4). This lens enables the contact lens wearer to be able to change focus from on-screen to off-screen and back with lesser exerted effort on the accommodative system which is possible due to its multiple front-surface aspheric curves where the power is distributed to stimulate positive power throughout the optic zone. Whereas aqua-form technology attracts and binds water throughout the lens materials to retain moisture which helps to reduce the symptoms of dry eye. (12)


Figure 2: Biofinity Energy(12)

 Figure 3: Aqua-form technology(12)

 Figure 4: Digital Optic Zone(12)


  1. Rosenfield, M. (2016). Computer vision syndrome (aka digital eye strain). Optometry in Practice17(1), 1-10.
  2. Council, V. (2016). Eyes overexposed: the digital device dilemma.
  3. Shimmura, S., Shimazaki, J., & Tsubota, K. (1999). Results of a population-based questionnaire on the symptoms and lifestyles associated with dry eye. Cornea18(4), 408-411.
  4. Nichols, J. J., Ziegler, C., Mitchell, G. L., & Nichols, K. K. (2005). Self-reported dry eye disease across refractive modalities. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science46(6), 1911-1914.
  5. Gonzalez-Meijome, J. M., Parafita, M. A., Yebra-Pimentel, E., & Almeida, J. B. (2007). Symptoms in a population of contact lens and noncontact lens wearers under different environmental conditions. Optometry and Vision Science84(4), E296-E302.
  6. Tauste, A., Ronda, E., Molina, M. J., & Seguí, M. (2016). Effect of contact lens use on computer vision syndrome. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics36(2), 112-119.
  7. Ranasinghe, P., Wathurapatha, W. S., Perera, Y. S., Lamabadusuriya, D. A., Kulatunga, S., Jayawardana, N., & Katulanda, P. (2016). Computer vision syndrome among computer office workers in a developing country: an evaluation of prevalence and risk factors. BMC research notes9(1), 150.
  8. Hall, L., & Brennan-Coles, C. (2015). More screen time= more digital eye strain. Contact Lens Spectrum30, 38-40.
  9. Nichols, J. J., Willcox, M. D., Bron, A. J., Belmonte, C., Ciolino, J. B., Craig, J. P., … & Nichols, K. K. (2013). The TFOS international workshop on contact lens discomfort: executive summary. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science54(11), TFOS7-TFOS13.
  10. Weeks, A., Luensmann, D., Boone, A., Jones, L., & Sheardown, H. (2012). Hyaluronic acid as an internal wetting agent in model DMAA/TRIS contact lenses. Journal of Biomaterials applications27(4), 423-432.
  11. Kollbaum, P., Meyer, D., Reed, O., Jaskulski, M., Rickert, M., & Bradley, A. (2019). The impact of soft contact lens surface and optics on symptoms associated with digital eye fatigue in symptomatic soft contact lens wearers. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye42(6), e36.