Living in the digital age means that most people today spend a great amount of time attached to their devices. With people holed up at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these screens act as their lifeline to the outside world. Without modern gadgets such as computers, tablets, or mobile phones, adapting to the current norms can prove to be quite difficult.
Unfortunately, keeping up with this lifestyle for a prolonged time can lead to consequences detrimental to one’s health.
Thanks to the work-from-home setup, more and more people have stayed motivated with eyes glued to their screens even beyond their regular working hours. Because of this, there has been an increasing number of patients seen at ophthalmology clinics for people experiencing digital eye strain or computer eye strain.
What is Digital Eye Strain?
Also known as computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain is a group of vision-related that results from the prolonged use of computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Symptoms include blurry vision, headaches, foreign body sensation, tearing, and even neck and shoulder pains.
In most cases, these problems are typically caused by staring at a screen for an extended period without breaks. However, other factors such as lighting, poor posture, uncorrected vision problems, and the screen angle can also help intensify these issues. These days, everyone can be at risk of developing this problem if the proper precautions are not taken.
8 Ways to Avoid Digital Eye Strain
Most digital eye strain cases can go away on their own by taking a break from screens and getting the appropriate amount of rest. However, it is still considered best to take the necessary preventative measures to avoid this problem entirely. Here are some methods that can be taken to reduce the risks.
1. Make sure the screen is at a proper distance from the eyes
When working with a screen for a long time, it is essential to remember that the eyes should keep a proper distance from the screen. Doing so can help avoid excessive eye strain, otherwise leading to blurred vision and permanent eyesight problems.
A good rule of thumb is to have the screen be about an arm’s length from the eyes or approximately 20 inches (51 cm). For larger screens such as a computer or television, sitting at a reasonable distance from the device is considered good practice.
2. Take longer breaks away from the screen
An effective way to prevent digital eye strain is by cutting off the source of the problem itself. When working from home, set up an alarm at regular intervals to serve as a reminder to step away from the screen.
3. Adjust the angle of the screen
When working on a desktop or laptop computer, it is important to always consider the angle of the screen. Most people find it more comfortable to view the screen looking slightly downwards. Optimally, the center of the screen should be around 20 degrees (4-5 inches) below eye level. Make sure that you position the screen to avoid glare from overhead and even ambient lighting.
4. Follow the 20-20-20 rule
This easy-to-remember rule is commonly advised by eyecare experts to minimize digital eye strain. The idea is to take regular breaks every twenty (20) minutes by looking at a subject that is twenty (20) feet away for approximately twenty (20) seconds.
5. Use the proper prescription glasses for computer or tablet use.
Your eye specialist may advise you to use special glasses that meet the visual demands of computer use. This may be different from the current reading or distance glasses you may be using.
6. Make the text on the screen larger
Enlarging the images or text on the screen can help lessen the risks of developing eye strain throughout the day. Larger text can make it easier for the eyes to pick up words and read them while avoiding the need to squint to adjust their vision.
7. Blink more
In most cases, people often blink less when they read text on a screen. As a result, this can dry out their eyes faster, leading to headaches and eyestrain later on.
8. Get regular eye exams
Eyesight can regularly change for multiple reasons other than aging. To avoid developing regular eyestrain and poor eyesight, visiting an eye doctor on a regular basis should be prioritized.
The eyes provide one of the most important senses in the human body. Without a clear vision, completing tasks and doing daily activities becomes more difficult, so it is best to always take care of the eyes. For more information and world-class eyecare and healthcare services, reach out to Makati Medical Center today.