childscreenWhat do TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, and gaming systems all have in common? Each of them can cause eye strain after prolonged use. Sometimes referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome, eye strain from digital screens is more prevalent now than ever. 

If you’ve ever experienced a tired sensation in your eyes, headaches, blurry vision, dry eye, or neck/shoulder pain after using a digital device, you’ve most certainly experienced digital eye strain. As students embark on distance learning once again, opthamologists predict that eye strain will increase

What Causes Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain is triggered by one or more of the following:

  • Poor lighting
  • Screen glare 
  • Improper viewing distance
  • Poor posture
  • Uncorrected vision problems (e.g. farsightedness)

5 Ways To Reduce Digital Eye Strain

1. Use Proper Lighting

The room where distance learning takes place should be as evenly lit as possible. In other words, there should be no spots that are more brightly lit than others. Natural light is ideal, but if you have to use artificial lighting, opt for incandescent light bulbs or full-spectrum fluorescent light bulbs. 

2. Minimize Screen Glare 

Make sure that the computer monitor is positioned in a way that there is no reflection from surrounding lights or windows. The best way to do this is by placing light sources behind the back, not behind the computer screen. 

3. Zoom In To Avoid Squinting 

Screen should always sit 18 to 24 inches from the body at eye level. If the text or images on screen are too small to see without leaning closer or squinting, simply zoom in while maintaining an arms-length distance from the screen. 

4. Follow The 20-20-20 Rule

Our eyes need to rest more often than you may think. Every 20 minutes, to be exact. The 20-20-20 rule involves focusing on an object 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, in 20 minute intervals. You can encourage children to do this by telling them to look out the window once they finish a chapter, or simply close their eyes for 20 seconds.

Everett & Hurite is committed to providing high quality eye care to patients of all ages, including children. We staff a number of board-certified pediatric ophthalmologists with years of experience diagnosing and treating pediatric eye conditions. Request an appointment with one of the physicians or call 412-288-0858. We remain committed to providing excellent, ongoing care for our patients while taking every possible precaution in preventing the spread of COVID-19.