6 tips for reducing eye strain from extended screen time

In today’s digital age, remote workers spend approximately 13 hours a day in front of a screen, often encountering new eye issues.

In today’s digital age, fatigue and stress are common challenges faced at the end of a workday. As remote work becomes more prevalent, individuals spending up to 13 hours a day in front of screens often experience issues such as headaches, dry eyes, and double vision.

There’s no question that screens currently dominate our lives; whether we are working, watching movies or shows, or merely scrolling through smartphones.

Over recent decades, medical professionals and researchers have identified three primary challenges related to our increasing screen time: Computer Vision Syndrome, eye strain, and dry eye syndrome. Although these conditions are prevalent among computer users, they are not inevitable.

What are these conditions?

Computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain (DES), is well-documented with various symptoms, such as blurred vision and difficulty shifting focus between near and farside objects. 

Although Eye strain adds to double or blurred vision, it also includes eye soreness, general fatigue, headaches, light sensitivity, or difficulty concentrating. 

Dry eyes are another prominent symptom; studies have revealed that you blink less when looking at a computer screen.  

Studies have also discovered that staring at a screen all day can really take a toll on your eye health. Therefore, here’s a few tips on how you can keep your eyes happy and healthy: 

  • Use the 20/20/20 Rule: To prevent eye strain, apply the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes of screen time, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Longer breaks are even more beneficial.
  • Optimize Room Lighting: Contrary to what you might think, less light is often better for reducing eye strain when using a computer. Close curtains and use lower voltage bulbs to keep room lighting about half as bright as a typical office.
  • Schedule Regular Eye Exams: Regular check-ups with an eye doctor are crucial for maintaining eye health and discussing concerns, ensuring that symptoms are only due to normal eye strain.
  • Minimize Glare: Reduce glare by using an anti-glare screen protector and ensuring any glasses have anti-reflective coating, which helps minimize eye strain from screen reflections.
  • Choose High-Resolution Screens: To decrease eye fatigue, use modern, high-resolution screens that offer refresh rates of 75Hz or higher. These screens reduce visible flickering and are easier on the eyes.
  • Reduce Exposure to Blue Light: Wear blue light glasses to protect your eyes from the short-wavelength blue light emitted by screens, which is particularly beneficial during extended screen use.

To reduce screen time and benefit your eye health, consider implementing several practical strategies, such as avoiding watching films or television on your mobile device and limiting your engagement with multiple social media accounts. Refrain from using digital devices in your home and establish clear boundaries. Additionally, consider setting limits on the amount of time you spend on specific apps or your phone in general. These steps can help minimize eye strain and improve your overall digital wellness.

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