Screen Fatigue – Symptoms and Science.

What is screen fatigue?

Screen fatigue is the name given to a cluster of symptoms that arise from looking at a digital screen for prolonged periods of time.

The symptoms can be felt as eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, overall tiredness with reduced productivity, blurred vision, a sore stiff neck and struggling to see.

There are several names that it comes under, depending upon where you are in the world, and these are:

Eye strain

Digital eye strain

Zoom fatigue – (It’s not screen fatigue, but often mistaken for it)


Computer Vision Syndrome

Working with display screens means staring at the close-up. It means looking at sharp contrasts of colour, navigating vertical and horizontal lines, and these together impact our vision.

It means dealing with the glare and brightness of the screen. All these work our eyes too hard, causing muscle fatigue. Our eyes must constantly refocus, again and again, and this tires them out.

We don’t blink as much as we should, so our eyes are not kept moist. We remain hunched in one position, becoming stiff and sore in our shoulders and back. The screen might not be at the optimum level or distance, causing even more musculoskeletal issues.

No wonder we develop screen fatigue symptoms.

Why does looking at a screen tire our eyes?

Humans are designed to look at nature, not long periods on digital display screens.

Nature on the whole doesn’t use many sharp colour contrasts. Think about how well nature uses camouflage. Many animals/insects don’t want to be seen, and Mother Nature doesn’t use straight lines. When we are out in nature, we scan the close-up and the horizon, giving our eyes their full range of movement in an enviroment that doesn’t tax them.

Staring at a screen does the opposite, with text and images designed to pop and grab our attention. No wonder we are encouraged to do the 20-20-20 exercise.

Too much of the close-up, and we become short-sighted.

£2.1bnResearch is showing us that screen fatigue is not a temporary effect of working with a screen for more than an hour a day. It’s not a collection of symptoms that will disappear.  It’s showing that screen fatigue causes real, long term harm.

Screen Fatigue is impacting business to the tune of £36 billion a year, and if we are not careful, it’s going to impact the lives of future generations.

To fully understand how we arrived here, please sign up for our newsletter and we’ll and send you our white paper. It’s a long read, but it delves into the background of why we as humanity, are facing a pandemic of shortsightedness.

And yes, we use the word pandemic deliberately.

Our white paper explains the history and debates held between scientists throughout the ages. It will help you to understand how fatigue affects visual and cognitive deficits, plus the practical and technological solutions to combat them.

We’ve put together a collection of research articles quoted in the white paper and a video that we feel give a balanced overview of the situation. We aim to give you a full understanding of why combatting screen fatigue is urgent.

If you feel you suffer from screen fatigue, give our therapeutic Display Screen Optimiser a try. It’s a reading challenge that takes about 15 minutes and allows us to find the best colour contrast for your screen.  You can then download and start using it straight away to mitigate your risk, and as one customer said – it ‘soothes their eyes’.

Our patented Display Screen Optimiser has helped many to increase their reading speed and mitigate the risks of screen fatigue.

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