Digital Eye Strain: How to Prevent It

December 15th, 2015
protect from screen time

Recognizing the symptoms and making a few small changes is the key to preventing digital eye strain.

You sit at a desk with your eyes locked on a computer screen all day. Even on breaks, you’re looking at your phone. When you get home, you read an article on your tablet and then watch a movie online. You may not realize how long you’ve spent looking at a screen, but your eyes do.

Ever thought how it may affect your vision?

With the population’s ever-growing dependence on digital devices, both fixed and portable, vision issues caused by digital eye strain are widespread.

When you stare at a computer, phone or tablet screen for too long without breaks – which most of us do – your eyes become dry and tired, and you have trouble focusing on things without your vision going a little blurry. You’ve probably noticed these things happened, but have never thought much about it.

This is caused by digital eye strain and it is unsurprisingly common.

But don’t worry, there are a few simple tricks that will help keep digital eye strain at bay. Just be sure to practice them every day.

The 20-20-20 Rule to prevent digital eye strain

20 minutes. 20 seconds. 20 feet.

Here’s how it works:

For every 20 minutes you’re staring at your phone, tablet or computer, take a break. Look out a window or across the room – at least 20 feet away – and focus on a single object for at least 20 seconds.

Sure, it sounds a little quirky, but it works! How? When you take the break to focus on something else for a bit, it helps “reset” your vision. When you switch from focusing on near and far objects, it relaxes the eye muscles and prevents them from “locking up.”

This breaks the cycle of digital eye strain to help keep your vision strong and prevent fatigue. Also, remember to blink often to keep your eyes moist because dry eyes are the biggest culprit to vision issues caused by digital devices.

In addition to these daily “eye exercises,” be sure to come in for a comprehensive eye exam each year to be sure your eyes are healthy and your vision is the best it can be. Schedule one now.

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