Yes, they certainly can! Computer Vision Syndrome/Digital Eye Strain is a real issue. Prolonged use of electronics can cause eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain, and degrading vision.
Your eyes are constantly focusing and refocusing when looking at a screen and moving between electronic work and the outside world. They have to adjust and work hard to see properly. Poor lighting, glare on a screen, improper viewing distances, poor seating posture, uncorrected vision problems, and a combination of all these can contribute to negative symptoms.
“While complaints of eye fatigue and discomfort are common among digital device users, these symptoms are not caused by the screen itself. Digital screens give off little or no harmful radiation (such as x-rays or UV rays). All levels of radiation from computer screens are below levels that can cause eye damage such as cataracts.
Digital screens do exposure your eyes to blue light. Blue light exposure you get from screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. And yet, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them.” (Prevent Blindness)
Some techniques to help alleviate eye strain:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away.
- Use apps that help control screen lighting and brightness: F.lux (for desktop and mobile) is a popular and functional choice that we love.