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Take These Steps to Relieve Digital Eye Strain

Take These Steps to Relieve Digital Eye Strain

From smartphones to tablets to computers, the overwhelming majority of Americans (including children) use screens for several hours each day. Telecommuting, remote learning, and social networking have become the norm thanks to advances in technology. 

While technology is no doubt good for productivity and staying connected, it can lead to digital eye strain. This condition, also known as computer vision syndrome, refers to any discomfort you experience after looking at screens for an extended period.

The most common symptoms of digital eye strain are headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, light sensitivity, and difficulty concentrating. You might experience neck or shoulder discomfort too.

The experts at Maryland Eye Care Center want you to know that your eyes don’t have to suffer after long days on the computer. Here are steps you can take to relieve digital eye strain.

1. Use the 20-20-20 rule

Staring at a computer screen (or TV) without blinking can make your eyes feel dry. To prevent that 一 and to encourage blinking 一 use the 20-20-20 rule. To do this, look away from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

2. Consider the lighting in your room

The contrast of a bright computer screen (or TV) in a dark room can put additional strain on your eyes as they try to shift between the darkness of the room and the brightness of the screen.

Try to match your screen and the room lighting. For instance, keep the lights on (even low) while watching TV to reduce some of that contrast. The same is true if your room lights are too bright. Try turning off the ceiling lights and use a softer lamp on your desk.

3. Blink more often

Digital strain is known for causing dry eyes. Consciously try to blink more throughout the day. This helps to keep your eyes lubricated. Alternatively, keep a bottle of artificial tears at your desk to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes.

4. Use the night mode on your devices 

If you use a tablet or phone in bed, consider switching your device to night mode. This setting is easier on your eyes at night and helps prevent disruptions to your circadian rhythm. 

5. Sleep in a dark room

Avoid sleeping with lights on in your bedroom. Studies show that sleeping with the lights on can contribute to eye fatigue, which can compound the effects of digital eye strain. 

6. Set limits on your screen time

While you may not be able to set limits on your screen time at work, consider monitoring your screen usage during recreational times. This is especially important for children who may not yet understand the connection between screens and eye strain.

7. Improve your office ergonomics

You can reduce the risk of digital eye strain by arranging your office so that:

If your child uses a laptop for school or homework, help them practice good ergonomics too!

8. Adopt eye-healthy habits

In addition to the tips above, it’s important to implement other eye-healthy habits. This includes wearing sunglasses daily, avoiding smoking, exercising regularly (which improves circulation to your eyes), and eating a diet that contains vitamin A and lutein.

If you’re concerned about your eye health, call Maryland Eye Care Center at one of our three convenient locations in Silver Spring and Hyattsville, Maryland, or book your appointment online.

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