5 Simple Tips to Combat Digital Eye Strain

According to The Vision Council, more than 70 percent of Americans don’t know about or don’t believe they are at risk for digital eye strain; however, anyone who spends time in front of a digital screen—whether it’s a computer, phone or tablet—is vulnerable. Dr. Richard Hom, optometric director for WellPoint offers the following suggestions for avoiding digital eye strain in today’s technology-driven world.

-Pay attention to how much time you spend looking at the computer screen and take a 20-second break every 20 minutes. To truly relax the focusing muscle within the eye, be sure to focus on something at least 20 feet away.

-Installing an anti-glare screen will get rid of the reflection from nearby objects that may be visible on your screen. Take this one step further by covering windows and using a computer hood to block both overhead and peripheral light.

-To ensure that you’re working in proper lighting, rearrange your office setup so that windows are off to the side of the computer screen. To diminish the brightness of the light surrounding the screen, turn off any unnecessary fluorescent lights. Incorporating halogen or incandescent bulbs into the mix is another simple way to foster the proper lighting environment.

-If you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen, you’re most likely blinking less often, which can cause the eyes to become dry. Next time you find yourself in front of a computer for a prolonged period of time, blink 10 times by closing the eyes very slowly every 20 minutes. This will not only moisten the eyes, it will also help them refocus.

-Revise your workspace so that any printed pages you need to look at can be placed on a copy stand next to the computer monitor. This will help alleviate the stress and strain on the eyes that comes from looking back and forth between the computer screen and a printed page. Poor posture can also lead to problems when it comes to clearly seeing a digital screen. Whether you purchase ergonomic furniture—or simply pay more attention to your posture—aim to have the center of the digital screen 10-15 degrees below the eyes.

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