Eye care professionals have recently seen an increase in reports of asthenopia, or tired eyes, potentially in association with the increase of digital device use. Many patients may not associate this symptom with increased device usage. An article written in Review of Optometry explains that there’s confusion around “tired eyes” and digital devices that can be shown in the number of different terms used to refer to it: eye strain, computer vision syndrome, and digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain is a “diagnosis of exclusion” and is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Eye irritation
- Blurred vision
- Shoulder, neck, and back pain
- Light sensitivity
- Trouble focusing
Symptoms between patients vary and can change over time, adding to the confusion. However, article authors Dawn Meyer, OD, and Pete Kollbaum, OD, PhD, share to categorize the symptoms to help you better understand what patients are going through and how to help.
Primary Global Sensations
This group of symptoms is focused on physical discomfort and include eye fatigue, headaches, eye strain, and soreness.
These symptoms affect vision, like blurred vision or “floating” text.
Secondary Surface Sensations
Like primary global sensations, these symptoms affect physical comfort but localize on the eyes. They include irritation, burning, dryness, and tearing.
There are many factors that can contribute to digital eye strain: environment, ergonomics, blue light, underlying surface dryness, and more. Because no one’s symptoms are the same, management needs to be based on individual patient needs. Utilizing the categorization system above can help steer the direction of care.
Holistic lifestyle changes can help relieve many of the symptoms. Paying attention to the setup around a screen can greatly reduce symptoms like headaches and soreness. Taking breaks and reducing time spent on screens can help with tired and strained eyes. Paying attention to blinking can help reduce dryness and irritation, but these simple changes are often overlooked by patients.
EyePromise® has developed a nutraceutical to help patients who spend hours a day on screens. Screen Shield™ Pro has all-natural zeaxanthin and other nutrients to protect the eyes from screen-time exposure. Beyond that, research has shown that the ingredients chosen can help reduce eye strain and tired eyes, support a healthy surface of the eye, and support overall health as well as eye health.
Screen Shield Pro complements a patient’s daily multi-vitamin and is easy to add to a daily routine with a one-a-day softgel. As part of the first screen time-focused line of ocular nutraceuticals in the doctor channel, EyePromise Screen Shield Pro helps upgrade your practice and care for a rapidly growing patient need.
- Stringham, Nicole Tressa, et al. “Supplementation with Macular Carotenoids Reduces Psychological Stress, Serum Cortisol, and Sub-Optimal Symptoms of Physical and Emotional Health in Young Adults.” Nutritional Neuroscience, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28198205.
- Stringham, James, Nicole Stringham, and Kevin O’Brien. “Macular Carotenoid Supplementation Improves Visual Performance, Sleep Quality, and Adverse Physical Symptoms in Those with High Screen Time Exposure.” Foods 6.7 (2017): 47. Crossref. Web.
- Wu, Jiangmei, et al. “Photochemical Damage of the Retina.” Survey of Ophthalmology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2006, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16950247.
- Kawabata, Fuminori, and Tomoko Tsuji. “Effects of Dietary Supplementation with a Combination of Fish Oil, Bilberry Extract, and Lutein on Subjective Symptoms of Asthenopia in Humans.” Biomedical Research (Tokyo, Japan), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22199129.
- Good, Gregory W. “Light and Eye Damage.” American Optometric Association, Dec. 2014.