If there’s one thing we all see clearly these days, it’s that everyone seems glued to digital devices. It’s not the healthiest activity; prolonged periods bending over a screen causes everything from dry eyes and blurred vision to headaches, and neck or shoulder pain. But using computers, tablets, and smartphones are now inevitable for both work and recreation.
Here are several tips on how to avoid digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome – the set of problems some researchers have gone so far as to call the “number one occupational hazard of the 21st century.”
Follow the 20-20-20 rule
You’ve heard that perfect vision is graded as 20-20. Nowadays, good eye health is all about the 20-20-20.
This is the guideline to take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes, whenever you are at your computer, and focus on things that are 20 feet away from the screen. This helps the eyes rest, relax, and refocus – combating the fatigue that sets in from trying to make out miniscule pixels and seeing through the screen’s glare. Closing your eyes or blinking at intervals also help, since this aids in moistening the eyes, which tend to become dry while looking at a screen.
Set up an optimal workspace
Aside from time spent at the computer, the position of your monitor and lighting conditions are also factors in causing digital eye strain.
Optimally, the center of your monitor should be around 5 inches below your eye level. This makes you look slightly downward at the screen instead of straight at it, helping reduce stress on the eyes; keeping your eyes at least 20 inches from the screen also achieves the same effect.
Since glare from the screen is inevitable, you could also control glare from other light sources. Try using lower-wattage bulbs, or filtering light from windows through blinds or drapes.
Get special lenses for computer use
Ultimately, you may just have to visit an eye clinic for treatments for computer vision syndrome. Your doctor may prescribe new lenses that are specially designed to minimize the effects of exposure to digital glare, and go a long way to improving your vision and comfort.
A doctor may also prescribe corrective lenses for fixing problems related to computer vision syndrome; these can be built with the technologies that minimize its effects. Where these treatments are not enough, doctors can also introduce you to eye exercises for the home or office.
Visit your trusted eye clinic in Harley Street to determine which options are best for you – and find out other ways you can improve eye health.
What is computer vision syndrome – and how can I prevent it? TheGuardian.com
Computer Vision Syndrome, AOA.org