Do you work in front of a screen all day? If so, you may be at risk for vision problems. With more jobs dependent on technology, it’s important to be aware of how your computer use can affect your eyesight.
To help combat the risk of vision problems, we’re sharing 10 tips to ease eye strain. By following these suggestions, you can help keep your eyes healthy and improve your overall vision.
1. Take frequent breaks.
Every 20 minutes or so, look away from the screen and focus on something in the distance for at least 20 seconds. One of the biggest culprits of eye strain is staring at a screen for long periods of time without taking breaks.
To help you stay on track, use the 20/20/20 rule. You want to cut up your screen time into 20-minute chunks. After 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at an object 20 feet in the distance. As you get into the habit of looking away from your screen more often, you’ll find that your eyes feel less strained.
2. Adjust the lighting.
If possible, position your computer screen so that there is no glare from overhead lights or windows. Use a desk lamp to illuminate the keyboard and work area if needed.
Your eyes are constantly adjusting to different levels of light, and too much brightness can cause eye strain. By reducing the amount of glare on your screen, you can help reduce the strain on your eyes.
3. Blink often.
When we stare at a screen, we tend to blink less, which can lead to dry eyes. Try to blink every few seconds to keep your eyes moist. You might be surprised to find out how little you blink when you’re focused on something.
4. Use artificial tears.
Here’s a great tip you can to help your eyes. If you suffer from strain or dryness, use products called artificial tears. Use them throughout the day for best results, and look for a brand that is preservative-free and use as directed. In doing so, you can help to wash away any irritants that may be causing eye strain.
If you wear contacts, be sure to clean them regularly and replace them as needed. We’ll talk more about this below, so keep reading.
5. Adjust the screen settings.
If your eyes are getting tired, try reducing the brightness of your screen and Increasing the size of text. The difference may be subtle, but it can make a big difference in terms of eye strain.
6. Take a break from contact lenses.
If you wear contacts, consider taking them out while working on the computer. Alternatively, switch to glasses for part of the day. Wearing contacts can cause dry eyes, which can lead to eye strain.
And wearing them too often can actually cause your eyes to become more dependent on them. So take a break every now and then to give your eyes a rest.
7. Limit screen time.
Try to limit your overall screen time, including TV, computers, smartphones, and tablets. Give your eyes a break by reading a book or taking a walk outside.
8. See an optometrist regularly.
Have your eyes checked at least once a year, even if you don’t wear glasses or contacts. Your eye doctor looks for early signs of vision problems and can prescribe corrective lenses if needed. And it’s always best to catch any issues as early as possible.
Even if you don’t have vision problems, you could be facing other issues related to eye strain. If you have any concerns, be sure to talk to your optometrist about them.
9. Consider computer glasses.
If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, special computer glasses with an anti-reflective coating can help reduce eye strain. Look for a pair that has a yellow tint, as this can help filter out some of the blue light that comes from screens.
And if you tend to work late into the evening, blue-light blocking glasses can help reduce the amount of artificial light that affects your sleep.
10. Check for symptoms of digital eye strain.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after using a digital device, it could be a sign of digital eye strain: headaches, neck and shoulder pain, dry eyes, blurred vision, difficulty focusing, and increased sensitivity to light.
If you experience these symptoms, take a break from screen time and see an eye doctor if the problem persists.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the ways your computer might be harming your vision, let’s talk about what you can do to protect your eyes.
Remember to blink often, use artificial tears, and take breaks from the screen. And if you wear contacts, be sure to clean them regularly and replace them as needed.
Most importantly, see an eye doctor regularly to catch any vision problems early on. By taking these steps, you can help reduce the risk of digital eye strain and keep your vision healthy for years to come.