Keeping your eyes healthy in a digital age
How to prevent eye strain during digital screen use.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re either on a computer, smartphone or tablet — which is why we’re going to make this one short. According to TheVisionCounsil.org, 70%-80% of adults and children report using digital devices for more than two hours per day.
This length of screen use can lead to physical discomfort symptomatically classified as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. You can reduce or avoid some of these symptoms by practicing good screen use habits.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Even short breaks make a huge difference. Ideally, you should take at least a 15-minute break from your device’s screen after two hours or more of usage.
Proper viewing angle and distance
Whether at work or at home, the AOA also suggests your computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches measured from the center of the screen) and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes. Your chair height should be adjusted so that your feet rest flat on the floor. Similarly for mobile devices, keep the view angle slightly below eye level and held at a comfortable distance. Also, try increasing the font size of screen text.
Glare and lighting
Try toning down the brightness of your screen or device for some eye relief. Glare reduction screens or films can also help lower eye strain. When it comes to lighting, dim surrounding lights and avoid strong overhead lighting. If you’re outdoors, try to find some shade so you’re not competing with direct sunlight, which can make it harder to read your device.
Staring at a digital screen can reduce how often you blink, causing eyes to become dry. If your eyes feel dry, use artificial tears to refresh them. It’s also beneficial to remind yourself to blink more often, which also helps the eyes refocus.
Pop out your contact
If you’re a contact lens wearer, give them a
break and swap your lenses for your glasses. The American Academy of
Ophthalmology (AAO) suggests that contact lenses can intensify eye dryness and
irritation during heavy use of your computer or digital device.
The AAO sees no evidence of permanent eye damage from staring at your computer screen or digital device. Eye strain is a temporary condition and can be easily reduced or treated by adding these few techniques into your daily digital screen usage.
SafeBee® Top Three:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule, or give your eyes a 15-minute break from digital screens
- Practice proper eye ergonomics
- Remember to blink more