Tips to Reduce Eye Strain Caused by Screens
In today's digital age, it’s hard to imagine a day without looking at a screen. Whether it's scrolling through social media on a smartphone, watching our favourite shows on tv, or even using a computer for work, we spend a significant amount of time staring at screens. While these devices offer convenience and entertainment, they also come with a downside: the potential for eye strain.
The prolonged use of screens can result in discomfort, fatigue, and even long-term vision problems. The good news is that there are some effective strategies you can use to reduce eye strain and maintain healthy eyes while enjoying your screen time.
Understanding Eye Strain
Prior to exploring how to alleviate eye strain, it is important to understand its causes. The primary culprit is a phenomenon called "computer vision syndrome" or "digital eye strain". This occurs because of extended periods of screen time, during which the eyes are subjected to increased focus and infrequent blinking. This results in various symptoms such as eye discomfort, dryness, redness, blurred vision, and headaches.
Tips to Reduce Your Eye Strain
- Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
One of the simplest and most effective ways to combat eye strain is by following the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend staring at a screen, take a 20-second break and focus on an object at least 20 feet away. By using this technique, you're allowing your eyes to relax and reducing the strain caused by continuous close-up screen viewing.
- Optimise Your Workspace
Another key way to reduce eye strain is to your workspace. Place your screen 20-24 inches away from your face and at eye level. Make sure your workstation and chair are situated properly to provide a comfortable viewing angle. Additionally, proper lighting is crucial. To avoid glare and harsh reflections on your screen, position it perpendicular to windows or use anti-glare filters.
- Adjust Display Settings
Optimise your screen's display settings to minimise eye strain. Adjust brightness and contrast levels as well as increase text size to suit your comfort. Many devices feature a "night mode" or "blue light filter" function that lowers the quantity of blue light emitted, which can help reduce stress, especially in the evening.
- Blink Regularly and Practice the 20-20 Blink Rule
Blinking is essential for maintaining a healthy tear film that moisturises the eyes yet people tend to blink less frequently when staring at screens. Consider blinking more often as a conscious effort. Additionally, try the 20-20 blink rule: every 20 minutes, blink 20 times in succession to keep your eyes refreshed.
- Use Eye Drops
If you're prone to dry eyes, you can also consider using lubricating eye drops. They can relieve discomfort caused by prolonged screen time by keeping your eyes moist. Consult an eye care professional to find the right type of drops for your needs.
- Take Regular Screen Breaks
Include regular breaks from your screen into your routine. Every hour, set a timer to serve as a reminder to take a brief break for a few minutes from your screen. During these breaks, engage in activities that don't involve screens, such as stretching, walking, or simply closing your eyes and resting.
- Consider Computer Glasses
Computer glasses are specifically designed to reduce the negative effects caused by prolonged screen exposure. These glasses come with features like anti-reflective coatings and blue light filters that block harmful blue light and help minimise glare. The lenses are typically amber- or yellow-tinted, allowing other colours to pass through while selectively blocking blue light.
- Maintain Proper Posture
Not only your eyes but also your back and neck will benefit from proper posture. Make sure your screen is at eye level when sitting up properly. Your neck and eyes may experience more strain if you slouch or stare down at a screen.
- Mind Your Environment
The environment in which you use your screens matters. Ensure that the space is well-lit without being too bright and reduce the contrast between the screen and its surroundings by adjusting the ambient lighting. Your eyes will feel less strain as a result.
- Limit Screen Time Before Bed
Prolonged screen time, especially in the evening or at nighttime, can disrupt your sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and results in a disrupted circadian rhythm. For at least an hour before bedtime, avoid screens and consider reading a physical book or practising relaxation techniques instead.
- Regular Eye Exams
Last but not least, regular eye exams are essential for maintaining eye health. A professional eye care provider can detect potential issues early on and tailor recommendations accordingly.
By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce eye strain caused by screens. Just like any other part of your body, your eyes need care and attention. You can enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising your eye health by adopting good habits and being mindful of your screen usage.
If you want to invest in some computer glasses to further look after your eye health, Glasses2You offers you not just blue-light blocking coating but UV Blue lens options. Casting the blue light filter directly into the lens itself means that it won’t break down over time and you will benefit from long-lasting UV light protection.
Find your perfect pair of glasses, with or without a prescription, at Glasses2You’s wide range of specs and customise them to your needs. To find out more, check out our article “Customising Your Glasses: Our Lens Packages Explained”.