Are Computer Screens Damaging our Eyes?


Woman on computer screen

Screens are central to our world these days…

With some people spending 8 hours looking at their work screen, interspersed with checking their phone, then another session at home browsing online, can our eyes actually cope with all this screen work?

Many of our tasks are screen based. Laptop, iPads, phones, and sat nav systems are just a few.

The Stare Factor.

Science has shown, that on average we blink every other second, so in a 30 second span, we blink 15 times. When we concentrate on a task such as screen work, research has shown that this blink rate drops significantly; to as low as just 2 or 3 times in that same 30 second span.

Reduced blinking means the tear film evaporates which is why many people feel their eyes are dry or sore or gritty after a heavy session on screen.

Tired Muscles?

Looking at a close object, like your phone, means there is extra demand on the focus muscles. This can cause fatigue in some people, resulting in a focus that comes and goes, or blurred vision.

Other eye muscles also have a huge role to play in screen work, scanning around the screen is demanding on the muscles that move your eyes up, down, left and right.

This can cause the eye muscles to go out of balance, making them slightly misaligned, which puts huge pressure on the visual system causing headaches.

Screen Glare

Glare is another issue and is closely interlinked with focus.

If the focus is fatigued, we become more sensitive to the glare of the screen. If you are glare sensitive then it is harder to focus properly - And so we enter a vicious cycle that limits our concentration when we work, to a point where it is stressful.

Can screen work impact on other tasks?

Consider your drive home after work.

If your eye focus is fatigued, it is no surprise you feel blurry when you then drive home afterwards.

Our tired eyes will not be able to cope with on-coming headlamps just as easily.