Sight is one of the most important senses we have. However, as people spend more time on digital devices, they also tend to neglect their eye health. As shared in our post on dry eyes, spending too much time staring at digital screens can lead to dry eyes, and intermittent blurry vision. This resulting eye strain may lead to other symptoms such as eye pain, sensitivity to light, and itchy eyes which may interrupt daily activities. If you’re looking for ways to take better care of your eyes, here are some tips you can do to reduce digital eye strain.
Consider adjusting your screen brightness to match the light level around you. Some screens may have a lot of overhead glare, so you can choose to add a matte screen filter to reduce the glare and make the experience more comfortable. For computer users, you also need to adjust how far your screen is from your eyes. The recommended distance is an arm’s length (25 inches or 64 cm) and the placement should be done so that your gaze looks slightly downwards. These adjustments can help ease eye strain, even with extended device use.
It’s essential to stay informed about eye health education so we can live healthier lives. Health educators play an important role in helping raise awareness on health topics, such as eye care, and informing patients on the services that are available to them. These professionals can assess the specific needs of the groups they educate. There are plenty of ways to learn how to care for your eyes, be it from your optometrist, ophthalmologist, or reputable online source. For example, the National Eye Institute created the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), which is an eye health guide created by educators as a resource for communities.
A simple way to ensure your eyes stay moist and healthy is to blink. Dry eyes are usually caused by staring at a screen for too long, so blinking is a great solution to ensure they don’t dry out. One of the most popular ways you can encourage yourself to blink is to follow the 20/20/20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, and look at something 20 feet away. Vision researchers studying the 20/20/20 rule have found that by consistently following the guide, eye strain and dry eye symptoms were reduced over a period of two weeks. It can be easy to forget while working or playing, so setting an alarm every 20 minutes can help remind yourself to take a break. Looking out a window at far-away objects can also help you be more conscious of your blinking, and help reset your eyes.
While we can’t avoid our devices and screens in this digital age, you can take the steps to be mindful of eye care. If there are no improvements to your eye symptoms even after following the above tips, you should consider consulting with an eye doctor at our clinic in College Station, Texas.
Written by Eloise Mateo for urban-optics.com