I’m having headaches and difficulty focusing.

By Dr. Stephen Taylor

Question: I transitioned to working from home in the past year and have started having headaches and difficulty focusing. Is there any way to improve this?

Answer: : As more people have spent more time in front of the computer we have seen a marked increase in patients experiencing digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome. People commonly experience symptoms such as eyestrain, watering eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and redness. These are often due to a combination of uncorrected prescriptions, poor lighting, glare, improper viewing distance, and poor posture.

The first step in minimizing eye strain is a comprehensive eye examination to determine the exact causes so they can be addressed. If appropriate, glasses will be recommended to correct any refractive error (prescription) as the first step. There are even glasses that are specifically designed for computer use and those can be matched to your personal workstation. Lenses can be further customized with specialized coatings to further improve your vision or aid in your visual comfort.

Additionally, there may be recommendations for the improvement of your eye health, including different options for the management of dry eye, which is often associated with eye strain. Finally, there are environmental adjustments that can be made such as screen settings, workspace set up, lighting, and general ergonomics.

Your Optometrist will be happy to review all of these topics as part of your examination.