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Eye strain when performing tasks reliant on a digital environment can cause discomfort, affecting productivity and quality of life. Digital eye strain (the preferred terminology) was defined as “the development or exacerbation of recurrent ocular symptoms and/or signs related specifically to digital device screen viewing”. Digital eye strain prevalence of up to 97% has been reported, due to no previously agreed definition/diagnostic criteria and limitations of current questionnaires which fail to differentiate such symptoms from those arising from nondigital tasks. Objective signs such as blink rate or critical flicker frequency changes are not ‘diagnostic’ of digital eye strain nor validated as sensitive. The mechanisms attributed to ocular surface disease exacerbation are mainly reduced blink rate and completeness, partial/uncorrected refractive error and/or underlying binocular vision anomalies, together with the cognitive demand of the task and differences in position, size, brightness and glare compared to an equivalent non-digital task. In general, interventions are not well established; patients experiencing digital eye strain should be provided with a full refractive correction for the appropriate working distances. Improving blinking, optimizing the work environment and encouraging regular breaks may help. Based on current, best evidence, blue-light blocking interventions do not appear to be an effective management strategy. More and larger clinical trials are needed to assess artificial tear effectiveness for relieving digital eye strain, particularly comparing different constituents; a systematic review within the report identified use of secretagogues and warm compress/humidity goggles/ambient humidifiers as promising strategies, along with nutritional supplementation (such as omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and berry extracts).



The TFOS Lifestyle Workshop was supported by unrestricted donations from Alcon, Allergan an AbbVie Company, Bausch+Lomb, Bruder Healthcare, CooperVision, CSL Seqirus, Domp´e, ESW-Vision, ESSIRI Labs, Eye Drop Shop, I-MED Pharma, KALA Pharmaceuticals, Laboratoires Th´ea, Santen, Novartis, Shenyang Sinqi Pharmaceutical, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, Trukera Medical and URSAPHARM.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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