How to Prevent Digital Strain on the Eyes
On average, Americans spend seven hours each day on screen time. Whether they use a digital device for work or pleasure, spending so much of their time on a screen often leads to digital strain on the eyes. If you want to keep your eyes healthy, it is essential to recognize eye strain symptoms and know how to relieve it.
Symptoms of Eye Strain
Staring at a computer for many hours can cause your eyes to get fatigued. In addition to sleep problems and neck and back pain later on in the day, you may also experience the following symptoms if your eyes are strained.
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Dry eyes
Ways To Decrease Eye Strain
When you’re trying to reduce eye strain brought on by excessive screen time, the apparent answer is cutting down on the amount of time you spend on digital devices. However, this solution isn’t always practical, primarily if you use a computer a lot for work. Implementing the following useful habits can relieve your eyes’ strain without requiring you to cut out screen time.
- Adjust your computer screen angle: Ideally, your face should be at arm’s length from any digital device you are using. You should also adjust your screen, so it is at a 15-20 degree angle, putting it at least four inches below eye level.
- Be mindful of how often you blink: Blinking is a natural action by the body that keeps your eyes moist. When you read or stare at a digital screen for an extended period, you tend to blink less, so your eyes are more likely to dry out. Try to blink slowly and frequently to maintain your eyes’ moisture and keep them from drying out. If your eyes do dry out, try replacing lost moisture with artificial tears.
- Decrease the screen’s glare: Blue light leads to eye strain, so if you can filter it out before it reaches your eyes, you can prevent digital strain. There are many apps available that filter out blue light from smartphones. You can also purchase a glare filter to install on your computer screen or invest in high-quality computer lenses.
- Take frequent breaks: Giving your eyes short breaks during screen-time is the best way to prevent eye strain. Every hour you spend looking at a screen, use the 20-20-20 rule, and look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You should also take a more extended break every two hours. Whether you get up to get a drink or just walk around for a few minutes to stretch your legs, giving yourself a 15-minute break from screen time every two hours is essential for eye health. It can also help relieve muscles that get stiff when you sit for long periods as a bonus.
If you suspect you are dealing with digital eye strain, take preventative measures to reduce eye fatigue. These habits can improve your overall eye health, but it is also essential to get an annual eye exam and speak with your provider regarding eye strain. Dr. John Frangie with Northeast Laser is an eye care provider in Springfield, Missouri, who can help you reduce strain on your eyes. Schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners today to learn more about protecting yourself from eye strain.
Featured Image: Fizkes/Shutterstock