Digital technology is a large part of today’s society and has a variety of effects on our everyday lives. Some are positive, but there are a handful of negative effects—one of which is digital eye strain.
Those who spend more than two hours per day using digital devices are likely to experience digital eye strain. In fact, according to the Vision Council, about 80 percent of American adults report using digital devices for more than two hours per day with nearly 67 percent using two or more devices simultaneously. Of these, 59 percent report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.This condition causes physical discomfort including dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, eye strain, and neck or shoulder pain.
However, there are some ways to prevent digital eye strain—or at least lessen the symptoms. Here are seven things you can do to give your eyes a little bit of a break while using digital devices.
- Increase the text size.
Increasing the size of the text on your devices can help better define text on the screen and make reading more comfortable for your eyes.
- Reduce screen glare.
Reduce the glare on your device’s screen by lowering the brightness. You can also attach a glare reduction filter to your screen.
- Dim surrounding lights.
You probably didn’t realize that the lighting around your computer or tablet competes with your device’s screen. Dim the lights inside, and when you’re outside, try avoiding direct sunlight while using the digital device. This will help reduce glare and eye strain.
- Use the 20-20-20 rule.
Every 20 minutes, pick an object at least 20 feet away from you and look at it for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep your distance.
Always keep the screen of your digital device at an arm’s length away from your face, and make sure that the center of the screen is just below eye level.
- Wear computer glasses.
While computer glasses may not be the most glamorous, they help reduce the effects of blue light. The glasses’ warm-toned filter helps absorb harmful blue light and the anti-reflective coating helps combat eye strain by softening the glare from harsh indoor and outdoor lighting.
Another option is setting your phone to night shift mode or downloading a blue light filter app on your computer to warm the tone of your screens.
- Blink more.
The longer you spend in front of a digital screen, the less you blink. It’s important that you remind yourself to blink more to help your eyes refocus.
If you continue to experience eye strain or other listed symptoms, schedule an eye exam with your eye care specialist.