Doctors Warn of Digital Eye Strain – Dr. Ralph Chu on Kare11

Back to Blog

Smartphones, laptops and tablets are a huge part of our daily lives. Dr Ralph Chu shares in this video how Digital Eye Strain symptoms – including dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, neck, back and shoulder pain – are becoming more and more prevalent. Evening exposure to blue light wavelengths, important for color perception and being alert during the day, has also been shown to disrupt the melatonin that regulates circadian rhythms, making it hard to sleep. Dr Chu says to follow a 20-20-20 rule, which is every 20 minutes take a break for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away. Also, blink more and use a screen filter to block light.


Host 1: We all know staring at your computer screen all day long can be bad for your eyes.

Host 2: But now there’s a new report that finds there’s something even worse, and Camille Williams is here now with more on that tonight. Hi, Camille.

Camille Williams: That’s right. Hey, guys. So it’s called digital eye strain and the report finds that it’s way worse for multitaskers.

Camille Williams: We are living in a digital world with smartphones, laptops, iPads, incorporated more and more in our daily lives causing digital eye strain. The symptoms include dry eyes, blurred vision, headache, and neck, back, and shoulder pain.

Camille Williams: According to a survey of more than 10,000 people, this condition, digital eye strain, is way worse for those who use two or more devices at the same time. But outside of those 10,000 people doctors are saying, this is a problem for everyone, just not everyone is saying they have a problem.

Dr. Ralph Chu: We were raised to not sit so close to the TV screen. And now we’re holding them 16 inches from our face. More and more studies are showing that there’s strain to the eyes. Anything we do to protect our eyes is critical.

Camille Williams: Advice? Dr. Chu says follow a 20/20/20 rule, which is every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds, and look at something 20 feet away, blink more, and use a screen filter to block the light.

Camille Williams: Dr. Chu urges you to take precaution because it is possible you could face longterm damage to your eyes.

Dr. Ralph Chu: We’ve learned that macular degeneration can cause central blindness in patients. And so minimizing this risk of blue light is important.

Dr. Ralph Chu: Most of us use our smartphones, laptops, and watch TV up until bedtime, if not in bed. Experts say that habit is not good if you want to get quality sleep. they say, if you can reduce your exposure in the evenings too, it will be better for your eyes, and of course improve your sleep.

Host 2: I’m guilty of all of those.

Host 1: I know, and it’s such a good point too, that we always you’d tell your kids, “Hey, back up, don’t be so close to the TV.”

Host 2: Right.

Host 1: But now, Netflix is right there.

Camille Williams: Right.

Host 1: Or whatever it is that we’re watching.

Camille Williams: And another thing too, is they say to make the font bigger, so you don’t have to be so close to your phone or the iPad.

Host 2: That’s not a bad idea.

Camille Williams: I read a lot on my iPad.

Host 2: Or when you’re lying in bed and you’re watching Netflix or you’re watching something else, it’s kind of hard to do all that.

Camille Williams: Right, right.

Host 1: Great story though. Thank you, Camille.

Host 2: Thank you Camille.

Dr. Ralph Chu LASIK surgeon Minneapolis Ophthalmologists

Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu is a fellowship-trained corneal specialist and a nationally recognized leader in refractive and cataract procedures. His specialty areas include cataract, LASIK, cornea, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries for patients in the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Twin Cities areas.

Posted on October 12, 2022

I’m curious and want more information.

  • Get clear helpful info.
  • No spam.
  • AND one of our awesome patient experts will check in: concierge care is our thing!

Fill in your info and we'll take it from here:

MM slash DD slash YYYY