How To Avoid Digital Eye Strain

by Tanya April 26, 2023

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a common problem caused by prolonged use of digital devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets.

A majority of us now spend our working days staring at computer screens. And when we’re looking to unwind, we scroll through a social media feed, or vegetate on the sofa in front of Netflix.

Eye strain can cause headaches and even blurred vision. In some cases, these problems can be corrected with the help of the right eyeglasses or contact lenses but it’s best to avoid this problem altogether by following some simple rules you can follow to avoid or reduce computer eye strain:

1. Take regular breaks

It’s essential to take frequent breaks from your digital devices to prevent eye strain.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule, which means taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away.

2. Adjust your screen

Adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen to a comfortable level.

Also, ensure that your screen is positioned at the right angle, about an arm’s length away from your eyes.

3. Blink frequently

Staring at a digital screen can reduce the number of times you blink, which can cause dry eyes. Blinking frequently helps to keep your eyes moist and reduces the risk of eye strain.

4. Use proper lighting

The lighting in your room should be sufficient to prevent glare on your screen. Position your screen away from direct sunlight or any bright light sources that may cause reflections.

5. Use anti-glare glasses

Consider investing in anti-glare glasses or a screen filter to reduce the glare and strain on your eyes.

6. Use dark mode and reduce blue light in the evening

Many programs now offer a ‘dark mode’; so, if you’re staying up late working on a particular project, make sure that you have it turned on. You might also look at the brightness setting: your eyes will adjust to take in more light, so you might as well save energy by turning down your monitor.

Additionally, the blue wavelengths emitted by our screens mimic the bright blue light of the sky – which tricks your subconscious mind into thinking that it’s time to wake up when really it’s time to get to sleep.

Blue light suppresses the body’s release of melatonin – a hormone that makes us feel drowsy. While blue light/sunlight promotes wakefulness during the day, it becomes unhelpful at night when we are trying to sleep.

7. Adjust font size

Increase the font size on your screen to make it easier to read and reduce eye strain.

8. Practice eye exercises

There are various eye exercises you can do to reduce eye strain.

For example, you can focus on a distant object for a few seconds or roll your eyes in a circular motion.

Read more about avoiding fatigue if you sit at a computer all day.

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