6 Ways to Relieve Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain, also known as “computer vision syndrome,” is an eye or vision associated with prolonged use of devices with digital screens. If you spend hours looking at a laptop screen, computer monitor, television, cellphone, tablet, or e-reader, you may experience symptoms such as sore or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, or even pain in your neck and shoulders. All these symptoms fall under the umbrella of digital eye strain.
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These days, with more people spending all day working on computers or using their cellphones for extended periods of time, the problems associated with digital eye strain are becoming increasingly common. Luckily, there are things you can do to relieve your symptoms if you find yourself struggling with digital eye strain. These strategies include:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: The 20-20-20 rule suggests that you take a 20-second break from looking at a screen every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet (or farther) away. This practice allows your eyes to adjust to distance vision briefly before focusing back onto a nearby screen. Not only can it help with the discomfort caused by digital eye strain, but it may also help slow down the onset or progression of nearsightedness—a problem that has become more prevalent as screens have become a bigger part of our lives.
- Think about lighting: Digital eye strain is often more pronounced when you are looking at a bright screen in a dark space. Avoid doing computer work or watching a movie in a dark room. Instead, keep the room softly lit so that your eyes aren’t having to deal with the bright-dark contrast.
- Use no-glare screen protectors: Glare on your screen—whether from overhead lights, windows, or sunshine—can force your eyes to strain that much harder to discern what is on the screen. This point is especially true if you are using your device for reading, writing, or texting. Using an anti-glare screen protector reduces the amount of light that your screen reflects. In turn, your screen will be easier to see and more comfortable to read, which will help with eye strain. In addition, many screen protectors now come with blue-light protection. Blue light emanating from screens may be harmful to the eyes.
- Remember to blink: It may sound silly since blinking usually feels like such an involuntary action. However, when we stare at screens, we typically blink significantly less than we would under normal circumstances. Reminding yourself to blink regularly—and getting in the habit of doing so—will help keep your eyes hydrated—which is good for overall eye health and comfort.
- Adjust your screen: There are things you can do on your device itself to limit eye strain. One strategy is to turn down the brightness. Bright screens emit more light and will tire your eyes out more quickly. Another idea is to increase the font size on your screen. Especially on phone screens, we’re often reading very small text. Focusing on those tiny characters is difficult work for your eyes, which means a larger font size might be a terrific way to relieve eye strain.
- Consult your eye doctor: If you experience digital eye strain regularly, it’s worth consulting with your Miami eye doctor to see if there are any other things you should be doing. At very least, your eye doctor can perform a comprehensive eye exam and determine if you should be using contact lenses or wearing glasses. There are even glasses out there now with anti-reflective coatings, which can also reduce your blue light exposure.
If you or your children have been experiencing digital eye strain, our team at Miami Contact Lens Institute can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, so that we can figure out a workable long-term solution to your eye discomfort.