5 Tips to Alleviate Digital Eye Strain

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Now more than ever, we rely on electronic devices for work, connection, and entertainment. In fact, over 80% of American adults report using digital devices for more than 2 hours per day, and nearly 6 out of 10 experience symptoms of a common visual problem as a result: digital eye strain.

Follow our doctor-approved tips so you can defeat digital eyestrain and enjoy comfortable, clear vision.

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome) is a condition that results from prolonged screen exposure. Using a computer or other digital screen often makes the eyes work harder, which can result in fatigue, dryness, headaches, and even blurred vision. While these symptoms are temporary, they can significantly disrupt work, school, and daily life.

Why does eye strain happen?

Eye strain can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor lighting, glare, improper viewing distances, poor posture, and uncorrected vision problems. While digital eye strain will improve after you stop using the device, regular screen time can aggravate preexisting conditions, like dry eye.

This is why it’s essential to combat eye strain on a daily basis, protect your eyes, and alleviate fatigue. From practicing the 20-20-20-20 rule to adjusting your posture and screen settings, there are many ways to ensure comfort in our digital world.

1. Take regular breaks

Frequent breaks from screen time are essential in combatting digital eye strain. You may have heard of the 20-20-20 rule, but we recommend the 20-20-20-20 rule! Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at an object approximately 20 feet away before closing your eyes for 20 seconds. This simple practice allows your eyes to relax and reduces the strain caused by continuously focusing on a screen.

2. Maintain proper posture and viewing distance

Position your screen at a sufficient distance, typically about 20 to 28 inches away from your eyes. Ensure that your eyes are level with the top of the screen or slightly below to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders. It can be helpful to sit in a comfortable chair with good back support to avoid any unnecessary strain on your body.

3. Adjust screen settings

Try optimizing your device’s screen settings to reduce eye strain. Increase the font size and adjust the brightness levels to a comfortable setting so you can see more clearly. A brighter screen with less glare can minimize the strain on your eyes, but many people also enjoy using dark mode to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the screen and combat its impact on circadian rhythm.

4. Blink frequently & stay hydrated

Blinking helps moisten your eyes and prevent dryness, which is a common symptom of digital eye strain. When using electronic devices, we tend to blink less fully and frequently, leading to drier eyes and discomfort. Make a conscious effort to blink regularly to keep your eyes lubricated, and be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day!

5. Reduce screen time

Limiting your overall screen time can significantly contribute to eye comfort. Set boundaries on your device usage, especially during leisure time, and engage in other activities that don’t require screen engagement. Taking breaks from screens and finding alternative hobbies or exercises can help prevent or alleviate the strain on your eyes.

By staying aware of your screen time, digital habits, and practicing our doctors’ tips, you can combat the discomfort caused by prolonged screen use and improve your overall comfort. Take proactive steps to defeat digital eye strain and enjoy clearer vision. Your eyes will thank you!

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