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Eye health check: Screen fatigue

As you catch up on your favourite books, TV series or holiday movies, here’s how to avoid screen fatigue, care for your eyes and maintain good eye health over the summer holiday season.

What is screen fatigue?

Screen fatigue is also known as computer vision syndrome. The condition is the result of extended periods in front of a computer screen where the eye muscles in and around the eye become worn out.

It equally affects those who use glasses and those who don’t and has become even more prevalent since the pandemic where very little happened in a work or social environment away from a screen.

Symptoms of screen fatigue

Headaches, blurry vision and dry or watery eyes may be symptoms of screen fatigue. Physiological symptoms like back or neck pain can also result from screen fatigue.

Ignoring early symptoms could lead to more serious, long-term effects caused by excessive screen time like near-sightedness and macular degeneration.

Screen fatigue checklist

To avoid screen fatigue and to help you become more aware of the effects of excessive screen time, be sure to check the following list:

  • Existing vision issues
    • Be sure to visit Ian Donald Optometrists for your annual eye health check. We conduct a thorough check of your eye health to detect early signs of eye diseases and offer eye health advice relevant to your age and life stage.
  • Screen glare
    • Go into your computer or gaming monitor settings and adjust the brightness. Illuminate any screen reading or writing tasks. Never shine a light directly onto the monitor.
  • Lighting
    • Low-level or ambient lighting is best for screen time or tasks. Avoid fluorescent or direct, intense lighting.
  •  Posture
    • The correct posture for screen use is more important than ever. Your feet should sit flat on the floor or footrest, and your thighs should sit parallel to the floor. Shoulders should be relaxed with forearms resting on the surface area. The screen should be as close to eye level as possible.
  • Ergonomic set up
    • Ergonomic refers to making furniture or equipment comfortable and effective for people who use it. In an office setting, this includes your chair and desk selection, laptop stands and second screens and the width of your desk. Aside from eye health issues, bad ergonomics in a work environment could also lead to musculoskeletal disorders.

Summer health eye health

Aside from the screen time binge-watching, the summer holidays also bring about other eye health risks, so as we prepare for our December holidays, here’s a reminder about proactive eye care for children, adults and seniors.

Over the summer months, we expose our eyes to ultraviolet (UV) sunlight, chlorine and other factors common to summer activities.

Preventive measures like sunglasses and goggles when swimming are simple yet effective ways to protect your eyes over the festive season. For more summer eye health suggestions, see our summer eye health blog.

Regular eye health checks are essential in maintaining eye care, especially if you are predisposed to eye conditions or other chronic illnesses. Make an appointment and chat with our eye experts.


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