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Is Screen Fatigue Real? Here’s How You Can Cope With Eye Strain

Medically reviewed by Victor Paulino, MD, DPBO · Ophthalmology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Aug 25, 2022

Is Screen Fatigue Real? Here’s How You Can Cope With Eye Strain

Today, we do everything online – from meetings to classes and the like. It’s highly convenient that we can still do work even in lockdown. But now that we spend most hours of our day before a screen, can it be harmful? Is screen fatigue real? If so, how do you deal with it? Find out the answers and more below.

Is Screen Fatigue Real?

Is screen fatigue real? Simply put, yes. Screen fatigue is definitely real. As a matter of fact, a leading optometrist based in London mentioned in an interview that longer screen time issues are controversial discussions in their line of work. It is an undeniable matter for adults, teenagers, and even kids are nowadays glued to their devices for many different reasons, either for work or play. 

How is Screen Fatigue Real?

Screen fatigue is closely related to what eye specialists label as computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. This refers to a group of problems involving the eyes and vision due to prolonged periods of gadget use. Staring at a computer for long periods of time is visually challenging. It requires minimal eye movement, focus, as well as alignment actions.

According to studies, individuals only blink half as much as they would normally do. The process of blinking creates a thin layer of the tear film on the front of the eye, which aids in good vision. Blinking sparingly may create blurred images and make a person’s eyes dry.

As a result, many people develop eye irritation and eyesight difficulties. The level of discomfort tends to rise in a directly proportional manner to the length of time spent in front of a digital screen.

Other people also call it computer-related eye fatigue, which is common to both children and adults.

Signs and Symptoms 

Some signs and symptoms of this screen fatigue are as follows:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Eyestrain
  • Eye redness
  • Eye tearing 
  • Dry and irritated eyes
  • Eye itching
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

These symptoms may be temporary, however, they can develop over time. 

How Can You Cope with Screen Fatigue and Eye Strain?

Good thing is that there are many ways you can cope with screen fatigue and eye strain which include:

  • Following the good 20-20-20 rule.
  • Reminding yourself to blink by putting a note near your computer area. 
  • Reducing the amount of brightness of the screen when in use. 
  • Taking quick 15-minute breaks to minimize the strain on your eyes. 
  • Limiting the amount of time you spend on social media scroll.
  • Practicing the proper body posture (two feet from the screen, about arm-length distance, and below eye level).
  • Sitting straight when in the working space. 

It may also help to create and design your work environment suitable for your needs. Some also consider setting boundaries to help them identify when it is time to work or it is time to take a break. 

Key Takeaways

Is screen fatigue real? Yes, and it can happen to anyone who spends too much time staring at their computer screen. Kids are not exempted from the equation as they, too, are taking up longer screen time while using their gadgets. 

For some, the symptoms may not come off as something alarming, but it can lead to severe eye issues if not addressed accordingly and appropriately. 

Adopting these tips and suggestions may help you reduce the digital eye strain from your everyday meetings.

Learn more about Eye Health here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Victor Paulino, MD, DPBO

Ophthalmology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Aug 25, 2022

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