Ways to Protect Your Eyesight From Digital Eye Strain
The use of computers, smartphones, and tablets is a daily part of life for many people. However, prolonged use of these devices can cause digital eye strain.
Symptoms of digital eye strain include dry eyes, glare, itching, and blurred vision. Several at-home treatment tips for reducing digital eye strain include blinking often, taking breaks, and using blue light-blocking glasses.
Blink More Often
Aside from visiting a specialist in eye care near me, blinking is a simple action that is essential to our overall eye health. It is an involuntary response that revitalizes and refreshes the eyes with a thin coating of tears.
Research has shown that blinking patterns change when people use digital devices. They may skip a blink or only partially close their eyes. This can create a problem because the new film of tears is not spread evenly over the cornea.
The best way to prevent or reduce symptoms of digital eye strain is to blink more often and take regular breaks throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help to prevent dryness, fatigue, and squinting. Regularly cleaning your screens to remove dust and smears will also help. This will keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.
Take Regular Breaks
The average American spends around 11 hours each day looking at a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other digital device. Staring at these screens can cause eye fatigue, dry eyes, and blurred vision. It can also lead to headaches, neck pain, and shoulder tension. These symptoms are digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome (CVS).
The simplest way to prevent eye fatigue is to take regular breaks from your screen. Try to follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Blinking frequently can also help lubricate your eyes, reducing dry eye symptoms that can exacerbate CVS. If you have trouble remembering to take a break, consider using an app that reminds you to stop staring at your screen or set an alarm on your phone. You can also purchase over-the-counter artificial tears to soothe your eyes when they feel dry. For long-term relief, make sure to get a comprehensive eye exam regularly.
Wear Blue Light-Blocking Glasses
The blue light from screens emitted by computers, tablets, and phones emits short wavelengths with higher frequencies (energy). While there’s no proof that the high-energy blue light causes digital eye strain symptoms, some people may find relief from wearing blue light-blocking glasses.
The best blue light filtering glasses will reduce the amount of blue light that hits your eyes by having a tint or coating on the lenses. Previously published research has shown that amber-tinted lenses reduce exposure to blue light more effectively than clear lenses.
If you wear prescription glasses, most online retailers will offer blue light-blocking add-ons for an additional cost. Talk with your eye care professional before drastically changing your lenses. If you don’t wear prescription glasses, many online retailers have a wide selection of frames that can be paired with blue light-blocking lenses. They’ll also have various lens types, such as reading, bifocals, and progressives.
Change Your Work Environment
Digital eye strain is a group of symptoms that can occur from extended use of digital devices. It can lead to pain and discomfort, blurry vision, itching or watering eyes, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches. Uncorrected vision problems are often a leading cause of this problem, but hidden health conditions can also contribute to digital eye strain. Changing your work environment can help reduce these symptoms by improving the ergonomics of your computer station and reducing glare from bright windows or harsh overhead lighting.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to force people to spend more time at home, they need to take steps to protect their eyesight from digital eye strain. Taking regular breaks, using blue light-blocking glasses, and changing their work environment can all help to prevent or alleviate digital eye strain. It’s also essential for people to see an optometrist if they are experiencing symptoms of this condition, as these symptoms may indicate a more significant problem.