Digital eye strain impacts your health, ability to focus, and productivity. Most people do nothing to ease their symptoms because they are not aware of what is causing them.
How to Protect Your Eyes from Digital Eye Strain and Blue Light
You have a few options for reducing digital eye strain and your overall exposure to blue light. These include workspace ergonomics, computer glasses, specialized lenses, and protective coatings. The first step in this process is getting a comprehensive eye exam. At this exam, you want to make sure that you talk to your doctor about how often you use computers and other digital devices. With this information, your doctor will be able to better understand your eye health and vision needs and make appropriate recommendations. It will also help them identify any potential underlying issues.
How to Alleviate Digital Eye Strain
Here are some important things you can do to help take care of your vision and overall eye health.
There are quite a few things you can do to make your workspace more eye-friendly:
- Proper Lighting and Screen Brightness:
You want your screen to be as bright as your surroundings or be the brightest object in the room as you do work. Which you choose will depend on which is the most comfortable for you. Interior lighting or sunlight should be dimmed or blocked. You want to use fewer light fixtures or lower voltage light bulbs and close the curtains or blinds when you can.
Glare is a major cause of eye strain so it is key that you minimize it as much as possible. Set up your computer so that the glare from windows will not interfere with your screen. Cover your windows if this is not possible. Glare can also reflect from the walls and shiny finishes on furniture and appliances. In order to combat this, you can put an anti-glare screen on your monitor or get eyewear with an anti-reflective (AR) coating.
- Screen size and distance:
Make sure that you are using a high quality (like a flat LCD) screen with a large display. Ideally, you want a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches. Make sure this screen is located directly in your line of vision. You should maintain a viewing distance of about an arm’s length. Also, have the top of your monitor at eye level or slightly below it.
Keep your eyes moist: When looking at a digital screen or monitor for a long time, we tend to blink about ⅓ as much as we should. This is a problem because blinking is a key part of keeping eyes moist and healthy. Blinking helps you to avoid dry eyes, irritation, blurry vision, or eye fatigue. In order to combat this issue, set a timer for every 20 minutes. When it goes off, slowly close and open your eyes 10 times. If you have dry eyes, keep a bottle of artificial tears handy.
Take Breaks: Schedule and take frequent screen breaks. Take note of the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, be sure to look at an object that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Take this time to stretch your back, legs, and neck as well.
Computer glasses lessen eye strain by adjusting the focus slightly so that your eyes feel like they are focusing on something at a greater distance. These glasses also have a tint which removes glare and blocks blue light from entering your eyes. When it comes to computer eyewear, you have options. Whether you need prescription eyewear or not, speak to your doctor to figure out what would be best for you.