Today, almost every activity requires the use of technology. Whether at work, home, school, or at a restaurant, you will use a blue light device. The average person spends more than eight hours in front of a digital screen each day. The younger generation spends even more time on staring onto screens. The result is that the majority of society is plagued with digital eyestrain.
The digital eye syndrome, simply the digital eyestrain, is the feeling of discomfort in the eyes that comes after two or three hours of using a digital device. The devices people use, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and others, produce a high-energy blue light that causes dryness, irritation, and fatigue. People also develop headaches, sleeping difficulties, blurred vision. The shoulder and neck muscles may also feel sore, and some develop early-onset cataracts. The longer a person is in front of a screen, the more severe the symptoms become.
The following tips can make your screen time more comfortable and lessen the damage to your eyes.
Opt for an anti-glare screen on your devices to reduce the intensity of the blue light. A screen glare filter will also work well. If there is overhead lighting or a window near your working area, reposition your computer screen to avoid the glare. Ensure the display is high resolution so that your screen does not flicker too much. Make more adjustments in the settings to ensure that the color and contrast are easy on your eyes.
Glasses are some of the most effective tools for avoiding eyestrain. There are some specific glasses designed to make computer use more comfortable. Prescription or otherwise, the glasses have anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings that block light reflections from the back and the front surfaces of your lenses. If not comfortable with glasses, consider getting some contact lenses.
Your rate of blinking goes down whenever you expose your eyes to intense digital light. Less blinking dries your eyeballs and irritates the cornea. Make conscious efforts to blink in 10-15 seconds intervals.
The American Optometric Association highly recommends the 20-20-20 rule. The rule directs that for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break and focus on something placed 20 feet away. The break allows your eyes to focus on something that is not too close so that they refocus. Also, consider taking a 15-minute break away from the screen after every one or two hours of activity.
Eye exercising goes along with the 20-20-20 rule. During the break, focus on the distant object for 15 seconds, then bring your focus back to something close. Focus on the close item for another 15 seconds. Repeat the exercise several times. While switching your focus, rotate your eyeballs too. Your eyes will feel rested, and you can resume your activity feeling more relaxed.
The ideal distance between the eyes and the computer screen ranges between 22 and 28 inches. Also, the screen should be 4 or 5 inches below your eye level. Placing the screen lower than four inches, so that you are looking downward slightly, is also quite comfortable.
Newer screens are bigger, more advanced, and often kind to your eyes. Older screens are small, clunky, and have settings that could damage the eyes. Newer screens use Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) with anti-reflective characteristics, which do not hurt your eyes. Also, since the screen is more prominent, your eyes will not strain as much.
Taking up the above tips and keeping a healthy lifestyle will keep your eyes happy and working well. For further consultation and professional advice, visit the NorthWest Ohio Vision Center in Bryan, Ohio. You can also call 419-452-4830 to book your appointment.