Headaches from Looking at Computers

Eye Care to Address Headaches from Looking at Computers

After a long day of work and squinting at a screen, you may start to feel a headache building behind your eyes. It may go away as soon as you get in the car to drive home or if you divert your attention towards a new task. For some people, a headache may turn into a migraine. The Vision Council reports that one in four people report headaches from spending too much time looking at computers, smartphones, and televisions, as screens increasingly dominate our means of work and entertainment.  Our vision experts at Eye and Contact Lens Center in Kirkland and Renton can help to diagnose eye strain and create a plan for reducing future headaches.

A man with glasses having hard time looking at a computer

Digital Eye Strain

The human eye evolved to be able to see details illuminated by the natural light of the sun. Only within the past generation have our viewing patterns shifted, and shifted drastically, towards looking at liquid-crystal displays. While looking at anything up close, such as a newspaper, can contribute to headaches over time, computer screens are particularly harmful because they use a different type of light and because they often leave the viewer hunched over. You may not just feel a headache but also neck soreness or tightness following a day behind a monitor.  


While headaches are the most common symptom of digital eye strain, a person may also suffer from blurred vision, dry or red eyes, and tension throughout their upper back and neck. Some doctors have even found that digital eye strain leads to psychological symptoms like reduced attention span and increased irritability.


While the simplest way to prevent digital eye strain is to avoid excessive screen time, this may not be practical for some people, especially if they work in a demanding job that requires constant attention. A blue light filter for a screen or blue light blocking glasses will reduce the amount of light that your pupils perceive, relieving eye strain. A source of natural light can be powerful enough to minimize the impact of a screen's light, so working in a bright room may result in fewer headaches than a darker room would have.

Eye Care in Kirkland and Renton

The optometry experts at Eye and Contact Lens Center can help you determine what treatment options work best for your vision concerns. If you feel headaches after a day at work behind a computer, schedule an appointment for a consultation to understand how you can reduce this strain on your vision. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (425) 822-8204.

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