Our lives are increasingly centered on screens at work, at home, and at play. As we spend more time in front of computers, phones, tablets, and other screens, digital eye strain is becoming a serious problem.
Digital eye strain, often known as Computer Vision Syndrome, refers to symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to digital screens. According to the American Optometric Association, the most prevalent symptoms are eyestrain, headaches, impaired vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. The symptoms frequently develop as you spend more time in front of a screen.
Though minimizing screen time is the simplest approach, this is not an option for many of us who use computers at work. The good news is that you can do some simple things to make your screen time more comfortable and less harmful to your eyes.
1. Take a breather
According to the American Optometric Association, the 20-20-20 rule states that every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to focus on something 20 feet away.
This allows your eyes to rest from staring at something near your face and refocus. It would be best to give your eyes a 15-minute break from screens after every two hours of work.
2. Adjust the computer screen’s position
Because most people find it more comfortable to view a computer while looking downward slightly, your computer should ideally be positioned about 20-28 inches from the eye and about 4 or 5 inches below eye level.
3. Use an anti-glare screen or adjust the lighting to avoid glare
Adjust your computer screen to avoid glare from windows or overhead lighting. If this is not possible in your office or other situation, think about installing a screen glare filter to reduce the amount of light reflected from the screen.
When undertaking extensive digital work, your blink rate normally declines. Thus it would help if you consciously make an effort to blink to maintain your corneas coated. A deliberate effort to blink every 10 to 15 seconds will reduce your chances of acquiring the dry eye and keep your vision clearer while working.
5. Experiment with palming
Palming is an eye meditation technique. It consists of closing your eyes and covering them with the centers of your palms. Relax your eye muscles and your shoulders and neck as you take long, steady breaths. Tension in your shoulders and neck can lead to eye strain, so relaxing that area with a massage or deep breathing will help.
Regular eye exams are also important for monitoring and alleviating the symptoms of digital eye strain. The most crucial part is to pay attention to your eyes and provide them with the necessary rest and adjustments.
If you have trouble separating yourself from your work, setting a timer can help you remember to take a break. If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to continue working on computers without pain or strain.