How to protect your eyes in this Digital Age

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It is almost impossible to avoid screens in a digital age. We’re constantly scanning our computers, smartphones, tablets, or TVs. So how do we protect our eyes in spite of this?

If you’re like 90% of people who view a screen for more than 2 hours per day, you should know: You may be at risk for “digital eye strain”, also referred to as computer vision syndrome.

This issue is becoming more commonplace, even for children.

Common symptoms can include dry, red and irritated eyes, eye strain, blurry vision, problems focusing, headaches, and eye fatigue.

Why does digital eye strain persist?

When we spend long hours concentrating on digital screens, our blink rate is reduced by up to 66% on average, causing a dry, itchy or burning sensation in our eyes.

You may be surprised to find that factors like the size of the font, your posture, your computer set-up, and the amount of blue light emitted from your screen also play a role.

Easy steps to protect your eyes from strain

Here are some of the steps you can take to reduce digital eye strain:

  1. Create a work area that promotes good posture. Place your computer screen at a full arms-length and just below your eye level. This helps keep your spine straight, and ensures you keep the right distance from your screen.
  2. Position your monitor or screen to eliminate glare.
  3. Consider investing in computer-specific glasses with anti-reflective lenses, which can be layered with a special coating that blocks blue light from your screen.
  4. Use the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, and stare at something minimum 20 feet away.
  5. Adjust the brightness setting on your screen.
  6. Decrease the level of overhead light and ambient light competing with your screen’s brightness.
  7. Make the text size bigger, so it is easier to read.
  8. Remind yourself to blink. Blinking lubricates your eyes so they can remain moist and healthy.

Speak to one of our doctors if your problem persists

Of course, it would be ideal to reduce the time you spend looking at a screen each day, it’s not always possible. Let one of our doctors know if you’re using digital devices excessively – especially if you use contact lenses. There are now contact lenses designed specifically for this digital age, that feature new technology to help lenses keep 95+% of their moisture for up to 16 hours. Just call our La Pine Eyecare office and we would be happy to help!

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