Extended viewing of digital screens can cause major eye discomfort and vision problems such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and more. In an increasingly digital world, digital eye strain is more relevant than ever, and many times work or school obligations can hinder you from limiting your screen time. However, there are steps you can take such as adjusting your work area, modifying your monitor, or taking frequent breaks to limit the effects blue light exposure and digital viewing has on your vision.
1. Take a Blink Break
When using digital screens people often blink less, which can lead to dry eyes. To become more mindful of blinking, try taking a blink break every time you complete a common activity such as answering the phone or checking an email. More frequent blinking will reduce eye irritation and keep the front surface of your eye moist.
2. Adjust Your Monitor or Screen
The correct positioning of your screen or monitor can help reduce the strain digital viewing puts on your eyes and body as a whole. For optimal viewing, make sure your screen is positioned 20-30 inches (about the length of 2 sheets of paper) directly in front of you. Then, align the center of your screen about 4-5 inches below your eye level. These simple steps will widen your field of vision and lessen the stress put on your eyes from incorrect viewing angles.
3. Keep Everything at Eye Level
In addition to your screen or monitor, also adjust the other materials you are referencing to match your eye level. Aligning everything you are looking at to the same distance as your monitor will mean your eyes won’t stress to change focus when looking from one item to the next.
4. Adjust Your Screen Settings
Bright screens might be appealing but they can cause unnecessary strain on your eyes. To reduce eye fatigue, try lowering the brightness on your screen and increasing the size and contrast of text for easier viewing. Some screens even offer special blue light filtering settings to change the light emitted from your device to be less harmful to your eyes.
5. Reduce Glare
Battling glare from overhead lights or windows can quickly fatigue your eyes. Reposition your monitor, draw the blinds in your home or office if possible, or reduce lightbulb wattage to help decrease the glare on your screen. You can also get anti-reflective lens coatings to help reduce glare and reflections on your glasses. To learn more about our anti-reflective lens coating click here.
6. Try Blue Light Filter Lenses
Blue light filtering lenses can help reduce the transmission of harmful digital light from entering the eyes. They are tinted slightly yellow to offset the digital blue light emitted from your screen. To learn more about our blue light lens options click here.
7. Rest Periodically
Try to take regular viewing breaks using the 20-20-20 rule: Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
8. Consult Your Eye Doctor
If eye irritation symptoms persist, visit your Shopko Optical optometrist. A comprehensive eye exam can reveal whether your discomfort is simple eye strain, a vision problem, or a more serious eye condition.
Prolonged viewing of digital devices can result in eye strain and irritation. However, by making simple adjustments to your workstation, modifying your screen and lighting, and scheduling breaks, you can reduce the effects digital eye strain has on your vision.