HEALTH WATCH: Tips on giving your eyes a break

Everywhere you look, you’re reading, shopping, banking or being entertained online with digital devices small and large. In fact, 62 percent of adults use computers, smartphones, tablets or other hand-held devices for five or more hours a day, according to the American Optometric Association’s 2015 American Eye-Q survey.

Since digital use is only expected to continue to increase, it’s more important than ever for consumers to make smart eye care choices. Here are three simple tips to help protect your vision.

1. Give your eyes a break: Although ongoing technology use doesn’t permanently damage vision, regular, lengthy use of technology may lead to a temporary condition called digital eye strain. This condition can cause burning or tired eyes, headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain. To ward off these symptoms, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.

2. Be a savvy shopper: Shopping online can be great for some products that aren’t individually custom-made like prescription eyeglasses. However, health and safety trump convenience when it comes to eyewear. Eyeglasses are a health investment and must be custom-fitted to be comfortable and precise allowing for a patient to see their best.

3. Skip shortcuts: When it comes to really seeing what’s going on with your eyes, there is no substitute for a comprehensive, yearly eye exam by an eye doctor. Despite catchy claims, there is truly no app for that. Comprehensive, yearly eye exams are one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision, and the only way to accurately assess eye health, diagnose an eye disorder or disease and determine if corrective lenses are needed.