Seven signs of digital eye strain and how to prevent this common problem

It’s undeniably true that the right eyewear can improve employee productivity. Research shows that many workers complain of headaches, eye strain, and blurred vision on the job, which could be a result from the blue light emanating from their digital devices. As many as 2 in 3 American adults experience digital eye strain symptoms from using a digital device¹. Anti-reflective lens coatings that reduce blue light are an important part of the solution to this issue, and one that most employees are eager to avail themselves of – 80% of employees with anti-reflective coating coverage in their vision plan take advantage of it².

Many people experiencing digital eye strain don’t realize the source of their discomfort. Here are the clearest signs of digital eye strain, and tips to share with employees about preventing them.


How to Spot Digital Eye Strain

1. Headaches

2. Eye fatigue

3. Dry eyes

4. Eye irritation, itchiness, and burning

5. Blurred vision

6. Double vision

7. Light sensitivity


8 Ways to Combat Digital Eye Strain

1. Regular Eye Exams

Remind employees to schedule regular eye exams so their prescriptions are up to date.

2. Kill Glare with Anti-Reflective Lens Coatings

Glare from the blue light emanating from digital devices can cause squinting and headaches. Covering employees for TechShield Anti-Reflective Coatings, including TechShield Blue that reduces their blue light exposure, can help.

3. Control Light Levels

Adjust the brightness levels and the contrast on individual monitors, and consider investing in anti-glare coverings for screens.

4. Take Breaks and Shift Focus

Maintaining a fixed focal distance for hours on end can produce strain. Advise employees to rest their eyes occasionally, and make sure to shift focus when they do. The Mayo Clinic is one of many health advocacy groups that recommend the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

5. Encourage Blinking

People blink less often when working at a computer, which is bad for the eyes. There’s a gland in the eyelid that releases an oil whenever people blink, and that oil helps keep the moisture that covers the eye from evaporating. Recommend that employees do a few hard blinks whenever they’re downloading a file or hitting send on an email.

6. Offer Artificial Tears

It makes sense to make analgesics available for when employees get headaches. It also makes sense to have over-the-counter lubricating eye drops available to reduce the symptoms of eye strain. Single-use vials are the best option for a workplace.

7. Position Monitors Properly

Ideally, a worker’s eyes should be level with the top of their screen, and it should be an arm's length away from them.

8. Make Type Bigger

Computers allow us to fine-tune the size that type appears on their monitor. Discourage employees from opting for tiny type display in an effort to cram more stuff on-screen.


  1. 2017 Digital Eye Strain Report, The Vision Council
  2. VSP Internal data

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