5 Tips to Help You Avoid Digital Eyestrain
It’s a simple fact of modern life that staring at a screen from 8 to 5 is reality for most people as they slog through the workday – and longer than that if you factor in time spent peering into the glow of smartphones, tablets and televisions. Whether it’s hip Silicon Valley tech or just filling out TPS reports, adults are plagued by eye strain caused by staring at digital screens.
All that screen time might be incredibly productive — or maybe just for entertainment on YouTube and Angry Birds — but it can result in changes to the eye that resemble dry eye disease. While your boss might not let you revert to using a notebook and an abacus, there are a few things you can do to give your eyes a break during the day.
The 20-20-20 Rule
Perhaps the best-known of the tips for reducing eye strain associated with a work life full of monitors says just what it is. Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look away from your computer screen at something at least 20 feet away. In fact, the 20 minute rule can be good for your whole body if you stand up and move away from your desk for a few seconds at regular intervals. There are even clever applications you can install on Windows or Mac to remind you when it’s time to take a breather if you’re too in the zone to notice on your own.
Though it sounds like something that shouldn’t require a reminder, blinking often doesn’t happen enough when you’re parked in front of a monitor for long stretches. While working on digital screens of any kind, consciously blinking more often creates extra tears to moisten the eye, thus reducing dry eye, redness, and irritation.
Position the Monitor Correctly
The position of your computer screen may not seem like it matters, but strain from a misaligned monitor can create discomfort for your eyes as well as other muscles in your head and neck. Placing the monitor centrally in your vision about an arm’s length away is ideal, with the top of screen close to level with your eyes. That way the monitor can tilt slightly upward, and your neck doesn’t have to crane for the best view.
The manager down in the corner office may have a great view, but the windows might be more trouble than they’re worth when it comes to eye strain. Reducing glare from light sources directly behind the monitor and utilizing indirect lighting can remove harsh reflections and make it easier to see what’s on screen.
Make Sure You Have the Right Eyewear
Contacts? Glasses? Just use occasional reading “cheaters”? Make sure your eyewear is right for your visual needs. There is new technology in some lenses that selectively filters out only the harmful types of blue light emitted from our computers, tablets and smartphones and still allows the necessary blue light to be absorbed into your eyes. Since most people are at risk for overexposure to both blue light and UV light on a daily basis, it’s important to talk your eye doctor about Crizal Prevencia No-Glare lenses to protect your eyes from harmful blue light and ultraviolet light.