A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

5 Tips to Reduce Digital Eye Strain

by Damion Wasylow 28 September 2018 13:05 PM
young woman with irritated eyes in front of computer

If you’re like the majority of Americans, you spend a fair amount of your day in front of a computer, tablet or phone screen. Data from The Vision Council shows 80 percent of U.S. adults use digital devices for two hours or more each day, and 59 percent report experiencing symptoms of digital eye stain.

Digital eye strain – also known as computer vision syndrome – can result from extensive, continual or improper viewing of digital screens. Symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision, dry, burning and irritated eyes, watery eyes, light sensitivity, difficulty keeping your eyes open and more, both during and following time spent with screens.

If that sounds all too familiar, don’t worry, there are steps you can take to reduce digital eye strain symptoms without eliminating your use of digital devices. Here are our top five…

1. Give Yourself Some Space

It’s important to allow enough space between your device and your eyes. In the case of a computer monitor, experts recommend 25 inches away, with the top of the screen at or just below eye level. For smartphones, approximately 12 inches is sufficient. Be sure to adjust text sizes, screen zoom, brightness and contrast to levels that are comfortable for you.

2. Blink

Blinking plays a critical role in eye health, spreading oils and fluids to moisturize and refresh your eyes. Often, when viewing content on screens, however, people blink half as often as normal. So, don’t stare, and blink often. If necessary, over-the-counter artificial tears eye drops can help relieve temporary dryness.

3. Take a Break

Vision ergonomics specialists recommend using the “20-20-20 rule.” After every 20 minutes of screen time, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This helps your eyes relax and reset. Take a longer break, 15 minutes or more, after every two hours spent on devices.

4. Improve Lighting and Reduce Glare

Your device screen should not be brighter than the room you’re in. So, turn on room lights, reduce your screen brightness or both. Find a happy medium where the light levels aren’t competing. You should also limit glare by ensuring room or ambient lights aren’t reflecting off your screen. Using an anti-glare screen filter and ensuring your screen is free of dust can also help.

5. Wear the Right Glasses or Contacts

People who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses may be more susceptible to digital eye strain if they don’t have the right prescription. Not all lenses are designed for mid-range viewing of digital screens. If you wear contacts, try switching to your glasses for extended screen viewing. If you wear glasses, and regularly experience eye strain, talk to your eye doctor. You may benefit from a second pair of glasses made specifically for viewing digital screens.

Although eye strain symptoms can be uncomfortable, they don’t generally produce long-term damage. These symptoms can, however, be indicative of underlying eye conditions that require diagnosis and treatment. If you regularly experience eye strain or dry eye symptoms, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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