eyestrain.jpeg (image_yB1ld33.webp)Research shows that 59 percent of people who regularly use digital devices experience eye strain. With quarantine and social distancing as the new norm, our collective screen time has gone up considerably. In our latest blog, we share four easy tips for minimizing eye strain and preserving your eye health.

The average American spends up to 11 hours per day gazing at a screen. The result of such prolonged screen use can cause not just eye fatigue but also dry, itchy red eyes, headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, and eye twitching. Here are four easy tricks you can use to protect your eyes from unnecessary strain. 

1. Follow The 20-20-20 Rule

When you work on a computer or use your smartphone for an extended time, your eyes become exhausted from focusing on small words and images. The 20-20-20 rule is simple: Look away from your digital screen every 20 minutes and focus on a distant object for 20 seconds. Looking at an object that's far away relaxes the focusing muscles in your eyes and gives them a chance to rest. In addition to following 20-20-20, take breaks by walking away from your screen entirely once an hour for ten minutes. 

2. Remember To Blink

Blinking is typically an involuntary movement, but it's important to get into the habit of consciously blinking while staring at a screen. Why? The act of blinking moisturizes the eyes with natural tears, helping vision to remain clear. When we are looking at digital screens for a prolonged period, we blink less because we're trying to stay focused. Our eyes suffer from a lack of moisture as a result, which leads to dry, itchy, red eyes. 

3. Adjust Your Lighting and Seating

One of the simplest ways to ease the strain on your eyes, neck, and shoulders is to modify your workstation. You can accomplish this by:

  • Turning down your screen brightness
  • Adjust your chair height until your feet rest comfortably on the floor
  • Make sure your computer monitor sits 20 to 24 inches from your eyes
  • Angle the computer screen so that you have to look slightly downward to view it
  • Use floor lamps as opposed to overhead fluorescent lights for softer lighting 

4. Wear Computer Glasses

Computer glasses are designed to optimize your eyesight when you're looking at any type of digital screen. The anti-reflective coating reduces glare and increases contrast, making it easier to look at screens for long periods of time without experiencing eye fatigue. Computer glasses are a great option for those who wear bifocals or progressives. 

You can request glasses with anti-reflective coating at your next eye appointment or ask your eye doctor to modify your current prescription to include this feature. 

Trust Everett & Hurite for All Your Eye Care Needs

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a common problem for those who spend long hours in front of screens. However, simple tips like the 20-20-20 rule, consciously blinking, adjusting lighting and seating, and using computer glasses can protect your eyes from unnecessary strain.

At Everett & Hurite, we are committed to providing excellent eye care services both in-person and through telemedicine visits. We are committed to providing excellent, ongoing care for our patients while taking every possible precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We are here to address your concerns both in person and digitally, whether your eye care needs or routine or urgent. Request an appointment online or call us at 412-288-0858.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do blue light-blocking glasses help with digital eye strain?

Blue light-blocking glasses have a special coating that filters out harmful blue light emitted by digital devices. By wearing these glasses, you can reduce your exposure to blue light and alleviate vision-related symptoms such as eye discomfort and blurred distance vision. They can also improve sleep patterns by reducing the suppression of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.

Can artificial tears help with digital eye strain?

Yes, artificial tears can provide temporary relief for dry and irritated eyes caused by prolonged computer work. They act as a lubricant to moisturize the eyes and alleviate visual symptoms such as burning, stinging, or redness. It's important to use preservative-free artificial tears and follow the recommended dosage for best results.

Is there a specific type of contact lens that can help with eye strain caused by computer work?

Specialized contact lenses are designed for people who spend long hours in front of screens. These lenses have a special coating that helps reduce glare and filter out harmful blue light, which can alleviate visual symptoms associated with digital eye strain. Talk to our eye doctor at Everett &  Hurite to find out which type of contact lens is best for you.