These days, digital devices permeate every aspect of our lives. We are constantly using our smartphones, tablets, computers, laptops and video game consoles. It isn’t any wonder that many of us suffer from digital eye strain. If your eyes feel tired, irritated, dry, watery, or blurry throughout the day then you’re familiar with digital eye strain symptoms. This type of digital eye strain affects up to 90% of all business professionals. Fortunately, it does not cause permanent eye damage, but the symptoms are bothersome and can affect productivity, especially for so many that are now working remotely.
Digital Eye Strain Tips
We are not going to quit using our beloved digital devices, but there are a number of things that we can do to help alleviate digital eye strain. Here are some helpful tips for relieving eye strain symptoms, provided by the eye experts at Magruder Laser Vision.
Have a yearly, comprehensive eye exam
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends having a comprehensive eye exam before you start working on a computer, and every year thereafter. Discuss your computer use with your eye care professional including the amount of time you spend on a computer and the distance your eye is from your computer screen.
A person blinks 15 to 20 times per minute. This lubricates and cleanses the cornea, kind of like cleaning dust off of a window. When we concentrate on reading something, we only blink about half as often. This causes blurriness from the dry cornea and watery or irritated eyes. If you notice your eyes getting blurry, BLINK. There are also a number of over-the-counter brands of preservative free artificial tears you can use to keep the eye lubricated and comfortable.
This is simple: for every 20 minutes you are on the computer or digital device, take a 20 second break and look at something that is 20 feet away. Set a reminder on your phone or laptop to help you keep track.
Set the mood
When using the computer, try using ambient lighting that is ½ as bright as the lighting in most offices. Close drapes or shades and avoid overhead fluorescent lighting. Better options are floor lamps that have indirect incandescent or halogen lighting. Minimize the glare when possible. Darker interior wall color in a matte finish is best. And of course, invest in an anti glare screen for your monitor.
Computer monitor color and position
By keeping your monitor bright, this reduces the flicker rate of the computer and reduces eye fatigue. The bright screen causes our pupils to constrict, and gives you a larger range of focus. Your eyes will not need to accommodate as much and you will be able to work longer and in greater comfort. Your computer monitor should be about 20 to 28 inches from your eyes and should be about 4 to 5 inches below eye level.
In addition to all of these tips for reducing digital eye strain, take care of yourself. Get a good night’s sleep and take your vitamins for optimal eye health.
If you still have dry eyes, fatigue or irritation after only a few hours at work, you may want to consider laser eye surgery. Using state of the art laser technology, Magruder Laser Vision can give you perfect vision for those long hours at the office and eliminate the need for the contacts or glasses that can exacerbate dry eyes and fatigue caused by eye strain. To learn more about how MLV Advanced LASIK can help, schedule a free consultation with one of our surgeons today.
Magruder Laser Vision — Correcting Eyes. Changing Lives.