Sapam Bishwamitra Singh, Bachelor in Optometry

M.Optom. (Student), Bansara Institute of Ophthalmic Sciences, Shillong, India



Digital eye strain refers to visual disturbance or ocular discomfort that results after prolonged use of a computer, mobile phone, or any digital screen device. Some of the most common causes of digital eye strain are the lack of a lightning system, glare on a digital screen device (computer, mobile phone, etc.), improper seating posture, inadequate viewing distances and angles, and uncorrected vision problems. (1)

Symptoms Symptom’s category
Eye strain
Tired eyes
Sore eye
Dry eyes
Watery eyes
Contact lens Problems
Ocular surface problem
Blurred vision
Poor focusing change
Double vision
Visual problems
Neck pain
Back pain
Shoulder pain
Environmental factor
Depends on type of digital device
Most symptoms, like visual problems.

Table1: Symptoms and Symptoms category of Digital Eye Strain (1,2,3)

Some preventive measures for digital eye strain are (1-7)

  • Proper location of computer screen (the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches away from the eyes) (1)
  • Proper lighting system (using blind or drapes on windows and replacing the light bulbs in desk lamps with bulbs of lower wattage). In addition, proper lighting (via overhead lighting or adequate windows) is required.(1)
  • Anti-glare screen (Glare on our computer screen can cause eye strain as it stops our eyes adjusting as easily. So, using a screen glare filter reduces the amount of light reflected from the screen). (1)
  • Proper Seating position (chair should be comfortable and arms should be adjusted to provide support while typing). (1)
  • Take eye breaks (20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds). (4)
  • Use artificial tears drops (using Over The Counter (OTC) lubricating eye drops can relieve from dry eyes). (3)
  • Refractive correction (proper refractive error (like myopia, hypermetropia, and astigmatism) correction). (3)
  • Computer glasses (using computer glasses with tinted lenses that block harmful blue light and minimize digital eye strain. (5) Blue-light filtering glasses for computers, smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly popular. However, Coleman, president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, says there is no scientific evidence that the light coming from computer screens is damaging to the eyes. Because of this, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) does not recommend any special eyewear for computer use).(6)
  • Upgrade computer Display (CRT screens are the old computer screens with low refresh rate that can cause a noticeable flicker of an image, which can strain our eyes. However, flicker is not an issue with LCD screens because they have 75hz or more refresh rates). (7)
  • Blink more (normal blinking rate (12-15/min) will moisten our eyes and prevent dryness and irritation). (7)
  • Take a Break (Neck, back, and shoulder pain can be symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). While taking a break, stand up, move about, and stretch the neck, shoulders, legs, and arms to reduce muscle fatigue). (7)


Regular eye examination and proper follow-up of the above-mentioned preventive measures can be helpful to reduce or prevent the development of digital eye strain.



  1. [Last access 20th April 2022, 21:55 AEST]
  2. Wimalasundera S. Computer vision syndrome. Galle Medical Journal. 2009 Sep 28;11(1).
  3. Coles‐Brennan C, Sulley A, Young G. Management of digital eye strain. Clinical and experimental Optometry. 2019 Jan 1;102(1):18-29
  4. Eyestrain – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic [Last access 20th April 2022, 22:05 AEST]
  5. FS104_BlueLight_1.pdf ( [Last access 20th April 2022, 22:15 AEST]
  6. [Last access 20th April 2022, 21:25 AEST]
  7. [Last access 20th April 2022, 21:35 AEST]