What if we talked about screens , the visual troublemakers of this ultra-connected life that we lead? Accused of causing fatigue to our eyes , screens make us see all the colors. Blurred vision ? Images that duplicate themselves? Red and irritated eyes ? It seems that you are a victim of digital visual crimes . How do screens reach your eye and what are the consequences? How to combat this unbearable fatigue that your eyeballs are experiencing? Stay tuned, we explain everything to you.
I. Eye fatigue: how does it manifest?
The eye has its limits. When it exerts too much effort because it has been overloaded (particularly by the screens), we notice a slight failure. The latter results in an alteration of its functioning having an impact on the entire body system . There are three types of manifestations of these dysfunctions:
- Visual fatigue
- Eye fatigue
- General fatigue
These various types of fatigue are not serious but can quickly become restrictive and inconvenient.
Visual fatigue is the most common phenomenon and affects vision .
If you feel:
- that your eyesight diminishes as your day progresses ( decreased visual acuity )
- that you see blurry and the images are duplicated ( diplopia )
- that you are not sensitive to contrasts
- that your field of vision is impaired
- that you have a feeling of dazzle
- that you have difficulty adjusting your vision when you go from distance to near vision
You probably have visual fatigue .
Eye fatigue affects the eyeball linked to insufficient tear secretion . In short, you are not producing enough tears and your eyes are doing worse!
When the eye is functioning normally, we blink about 12 to 20 times per minute to form a new tear film before the previous one breaks to protect our eye . In front of screens , we tend to blink less . Eye protection is therefore no longer provided correctly. The eyes become dry , irritated , become red and tingly . They may even become teary to compensate for this lack of tears . It is possible that globe pain may even be felt.
People over 50 are at greater risk for eye fatigue because, with age, they secrete less tear fluid, which makes the eyes more susceptible to dryness and therefore eye fatigue.
Fatigue is felt in the eyes and spreads throughout the body , reaching the head and back . Headaches and back pain are therefore an integral part of the symptoms of eye fatigue .
These visual , ocular and general symptoms have a deleterious impact on the quality of work : the reading pace is slowed , the information is less well understood and integrated and concentration decreases. This consequence can be assessed by an oculograph (or gaze tracker) which measures and analyzes the direction of gaze by recording the eye path when following a moving target or exploring a text .
II. Eye fatigue: who are the troublemakers?
The biggest culprits of eye fatigue are undoubtedly our rectangular and luminous friends: screens . We also speak of computer vision syndrome or digital eye fatigue when the cause goes back to the screens. These have two major disadvantages:
1- They create a light source that is too strong for our eyes over time, causing visual fatigue .
2- They make us forget to blink, leading to their drying and symptoms of eye fatigue.
Excessive lighting , or on the contrary insufficient lighting, puts strain on our eyes and leads to exhaustion.
Also, we have all noticed that after reading a poorly printed document or one with infinitely tiny writing , our eyes get tired, all like after driving for several hours straight.
Certain specific working conditions , involving permanent and precise exercise of the eye , also contribute to symptoms of fatigue : detection of defects on a production line, observation under a microscope, etc.
Finally, all the elements that contribute to drying out the eyes can be the cause of eye fatigue : cigarette smoke, abundance of dust, air conditioning, wind, etc.
It is important to note that poorly or not corrected visual defects or unsuitable optical equipment increase the risk of visual fatigue . It is therefore essential to correctly correct your vision and ensure good monitoring of your visual health .
III. Eye fatigue: Our advice to avoid it at all costs
1) Medical monitoring
As soon as you have a doubt or experience one of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a complete visual assessment. This will help determine if you are suffering from eye fatigue or if this fatigue is the consequence of an untreated or poorly treated vision problem . He will then advise you on appropriate optical correction with specific lenses to reduce the effort needed to see up close and protect against harmful light indoors ( screen ) and outdoors.
2) Change certain habits around screens
It is difficult to escape screens , given the place of digital technology in our modern society. We are therefore not going to advise you to stop using screens but rather to change some habits.
Extend your arm. Your screen should be at the end of your hand, not closer.
Adjust the brightness by adapting the intensity and color tint to the lighting in the room. Do not look at a digital device in the dark !
Position your monitor perpendicular to the light source. This judicious position helps avoid reflections. If that's not enough, there are anti-glare filters or simply lower the curtains or blinds to avoid them.
Dust , fingerprints, and other smudges can blur some words and make it harder to read on screen , making it more tiring for your eyes . Frequent cleaning is essential for your eye well-being !
Blink your eyes ! In front of a computer , we blink less often , which causes discomfort such as dryness and red, irritated eyes. Prevent these inconveniences in the blink of an eye. Eye drops can also be effective if this is not enough.
3) Practice eye gymnastics
Exercise your eyes ! Eye gymnastics (or orthoptic rehabilitation ) may prove necessary and very effective in combating any symptoms of visual fatigue . Here is the “infinity sign” exercise which is very useful for removing tension and fatigue from the eyes :
- Keep your eyes open, relaxed and your head still
- Describe the infinity sign several times with your eyes, all in one fluid movement and without stopping.
There are many eye gymnastics exercises , don't hesitate to do some research and create your own little eye routine .
3) Breaks and rest
You should take regular breaks during which you look far away. The 20-20-20 rule is great to put into practice: after 20 minutes in front of a screen , look for 20 seconds from 20 feet away.
Digital devices (computers, laptops, tablets) are an integral part of our lives but have consequences on our eyes and our body. Whether it is visual, ocular or general fatigue, the symptoms, although not serious, are very bothersome and cause us to lose quality of work. Solutions exist and prove to be very effective. We will mention one last one, as specialists in food supplements: certain nutrients can prove very effective in combating eye fatigue: blueberry, tea, grape seeds, vitamin A. All these exceptional active ingredients can be found in our Eye & Contour gummies. And if fatigue is more general, don’t hesitate to taste our Work & Play gummies 😉