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Workplace Eye Wellness Month Spotlight: Preventing Digital Eye Strain

by Damion Wasylow 5 March 2022 11:10 AM

man rubs eyes to relieve digital eye strain symptoms
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, an initiative by
Prevent Blindness and the American Academy of Ophthalmology to bring awareness to eye care and safety at work. 

Thousands of workplace eye injuries occur each year in the U.S., but digital eye strain is often overlooked. Millions of Americans work at computers daily, leading many to suffer from the symptoms and effects of eye strain.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), is a condition caused by prolonged and frequent use of computers, smartphones, tablets and other screens. 

An estimated 50% of computer users suffer from digital eye strain, which can cause:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Shoulder and neck pain
  • Itching eyes

These symptoms can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Poor lighting in the room
  • Glares on the screen
  • Poor posture
  • Improper viewing distance
  • Uncorrected vision problems

Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time forces the eyes to work harder. Like the muscles in your body, overexertion of the eyes can cause strain and discomfort. 

How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain in the Workplace

If your job requires you to work at a computer for most of the day, there are steps you can take to help prevent digital eye strain.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

To prevent eye strain, experts recommend following the 20-20-20 rule:

  • Every 20 minutes
  • Take a 20-second break
  • And look at something 20 feet away

That 20-second break will give your eyes a much-needed rest and help prevent headaches, dry eyes and other symptoms of eye strain. If you can, take an even longer break. 

To prevent dry eyes, make sure that you’re frequently blinking. Blinking helps keep your eyes moist and prevents dry eyes. 

Create an Ergonomic Workspace

Taking breaks is important, but it’s even more important to have an ergonomic workspace. For example, it’s important to sit an appropriate distance away from the screen and at an appropriate height.

Screens should be:

  • 20-26" away from your eyes
  • Just below eye level

Yellow-tinted eyeglasses can also help prevent eyestrain. These glasses block blue light and help increase contrast to reduce eye strain. Some of these glasses also have anti-reflective lenses to help further prevent strain.

Creating an ergonomic workspace also means:

  • Changing the lighting in the room to prevent glares and reflections
  • Choosing a monitor that can tilt or swivel into a more comfortable viewing position
  • Using an adjustable chair to sit in an appropriate position

Correct Any Known Vision Problems

Uncorrected vision problems can increase the risk of digital eye strain and make symptoms even worse. 

If you haven’t visited your eye doctor in a while or you’ve been putting off getting glasses, contacts or other corrective solutions, now is a great time to change that. Correcting your vision problems can help prevent eye strain and allow you to work more comfortably.

Final Thoughts

Millions of Americans work at computers each day. Making an effort to prevent and treat digital eye strain can help improve eye health while reducing discomfort in the workplace. Use these tips to give your eyes a break and treat them with the care they deserve.

If you experience dry eyes or other symptoms associated with digital eye strain, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300. Our eye care experts can help diagnose and treat the root cause of your discomfort, allowing you to see clearly again and be your most productive self.



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