10 Tips to Prevent Digital Eye Strain From Ruining Your Vision

Opulent Eyes OpFor eye strain care and all your optometry needs, contact Opulent Eyes Optometry in Studio City.

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, a time set aside to raise awareness about eye dangers in the workplace and to learn how to keep your eyes healthy. So let’s talk about one of the most common eye problems affecting those who spend time in front of a computer: digital eye strain.

When you develop digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome, you’ll have symptoms such as:

You can avoid digital eye strain by following these 10 tips:

Remember to blink

On average, people blink about 15 times a minute. But when they’re looking at a computer screen, they reduce their blinking by one-third to one-half of the normal amount.

Blinking is important because it spreads a layer of tears that lubricate your eyes. When you don’t blink often enough, your eyes become dry, which causes eye strain.

You can solve this problem by taking a break every 20 minutes and very slowly blinking 10 times to lubricate your eyes.

Relax your eye muscles

Another cause of digital eye strain is called focusing fatigue. This condition occurs when your eyes are focused on the same distance for an extended time, causing eye muscles to tighten or spasm.

You can prevent this problem by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer and focus on an object that’s at least 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. Focusing on a distant object relaxes the muscles inside your eye and prevents eye strain.

Give your eyes a break

You’re probably aware that sitting for a long time is bad for your back and your cardiovascular health, which is why doctors recommend standing, stretching, or walking for a short time every 30 or 60 minutes.

The same principle applies to your eyes. Taking at least six short breaks from your computer over the course of your workday significantly reduces your risk for digital eye strain.

Minimize glare from the computer screen

Glare is a big contributor to digital eye strain. Be sure that light from a desk lamp, ceiling light, or sunlight through the window doesn’t reflect from your computer screen. If you can’t reduce glare by changing the location of your computer, moving the lamp, or covering the windows, consider installing an anti-glare screen or using a computer hood.

If you wear glasses, talk with us about lenses that have an anti-reflective (AR) coating.

Go for mood lighting

The light in your environment should be about half as bright as the lighting found in most offices. Depending on where you work, you may be able to close the drapes, use fewer light bulbs, or lower the intensity of the bulbs used in office lights.

Many patients find that their eyes are sensitive to overhead fluorescent lights. Turning off the overhead light may not be possible in the office, but you might be able to reduce the number of fluorescent tubes directly above your computer.

Upgrade your monitor

Your risk for digital eye strain goes down when you have a high-resolution monitor with a large display. If possible, use a screen that’s at least 19 inches when measured diagonally.

Check your display settings

Your eyes work harder when the screen is brighter than the surrounding light and the text is too small, so you can prevent eye strain by making the brightness the same as your environment and enlarging the text size. It also helps to adjust the color temperature to warm, yellowish hues when your environment is dark and cold, bluish hues in brightly-lit rooms.

Practice good ergonomics

The layout of your workstation contributes to digital eye strain because your eyes work harder when the screen is too far away or too close. Your monitor should be 20-28 inches away from your eyes. Additionally, the center of your screen should be about 10-15 degrees below your eyes to prevent eye and neck strain.

Consider computer eyeglasses

Some patients who don’t normally wear eyeglasses can reduce their digital eye strain with glasses designed for computer use. On the flip side, if you already wear glasses, your current prescription may not be best for viewing a computer.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam

You’re more likely to develop digital eye strain when you have vision problems that aren’t properly corrected and eye conditions that haven’t been diagnosed or treated. Another concern is that the symptoms of digital eye strain can be signs of many possible eye problems.

If you have the symptoms of digital eye strain that don’t get better when you follow these tips, protect your eyes by calling Opulent Eyes Optometry to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

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