Our modern digital devices give us access to all kinds of useful tools and information...but they’re not great for our eyes.
All it takes to give us a 90 percent chance of developing digital eye strain is two hours of screen time per day. With so many of us on our devices for much longer than that, especially those who work desk jobs and use the computer all day long, is it any surprise that over ten million patients visit eye doctors for problems related to digital eye strain each year?
Recognize The Symptoms Of Eye Strain
The most common symptom of digital eye strain by far is eye fatigue, but it isn’t the only one. If you’ve been experiencing some of the following systems, bright screens could be the culprits:
- Burning or itching eyes
- Eyes feeling watery or dry
- Blurred or double vision
- Frequent headaches
- Soreness in the neck, back, or shoulders
- Increased light sensitivity
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty keeping your eyes open
Dealing with these kinds of symptoms can add up to a serious drain on productivity — up to 20 percent! So what can we do to fix it?
Fight Back Against Eye Strain
The most obvious solution to digital eye strain is to cut back on screen time, but this isn’t possible for everyone, particularly if looking at screens is how you do your job. Fortunately, there are still plenty of things you can do to reduce or even eliminate the strain.
Optimize Your Workspace For Comfort
The angle of your eyes to your computer screen plays a big role in how much strain screen time causes. For a comfortable setup, make sure your screen is slightly below eye level and angled upward, and leave at least twenty inches of space between the screen and your eyes. Try to place any reference materials you use somewhere that you don’t have to move your head to see.
Reduce Glare To Reduce Strain
Another factor to consider with the position of your computer screen is glare from overhead lighting or windows. Hopefully you won’t have to compromise a comfortable angle to eliminate glare, but if that doesn’t seem possible, consider getting a glare filter for your screen.
Are You Following The 20-20-20 Rule?
One of the reasons screen time strains our eyes is that we tend to blink less often when we’re looking at them than we do normally. A good way to make up for this is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes, take a twenty second break from looking at your screen. Look at something at least twenty feet away instead. To get in the habit, start out by setting reminders for yourself.
Invest In Computer Glasses
Just like sunglasses protect our eyes from the sun, computer glasses protect them from the strain of looking at bright screens. They may not be the best solution for people in artistic fields like graphic design, as they can alter the colors you see, but otherwise they’re a great option to consider, particularly if these other strategies don’t seem to be doing the trick.
The Optometrist Is Your Ally Against Eye Strain!
Give us a call or schedule an appointment if you’ve been struggling with eye strain, particularly if things like 20-20-20 rule, a comfortable desk setup, screen filters, and computer glasses aren’t helping. We don’t want any of our patients to suffer in silence.