With technology coming at us from all over the place, you may have noticed that your eyes become dry, tired, or strained after staring at a screen for too long. Also known as eye strain, this is a common problem. The good news is that current research shows no long-term consequences from screen exposure. However, it is incredibly uncomfortable and can make work difficult. Fortunately, you can take some simple measures to protect your eyes from screen exposure.
See an Optometrist & Take Eye Exam
Just like regularly scheduled visits to your physician, dermatologist, dentist, etc., are crucial to your health and wellness, so is going to the optometrist. An annual exam allows you to keep your eye health at its best and talk to medical professionals about your habits and tendencies. One component of an eye exam is detecting any visual issues that result from spending too much time staring at screens.
Follow the 20/20/20 Rule
Essentially, the 20/20/20 Rule is this: for every 20 minutes you spend staring at a screen, you need to look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds straight. By doing this, you give your eyes a much-needed break. Feel free to take more time looking away from your screen – the longer, the better! We are not meant to stare at something directly in front of us for long periods of time.
Less Lighting is Key
It sounds counterintuitive, but less light in the room you are working in is actually better for your eyes. Any space with too much natural or artificial light increases the glare on your screen, putting more strain on your eyes. Whether at work or home, if you’re using a screen, ensure the environment is not too bright. Actions you can take to ensure this are partially closing blinds, drawing shades halfway closed, and using lower voltage bulbs.
Reduce Blue Light and Glare
Blue light glasses and anti-glare screen filters are two highly effective tools to help reduce blue light and glare. My pair has helped tremendously reduce my eye strain. To help protect your eyes, wear blue light glasses as they have an anti-reflective coating that helps block reflections and glare. Another option is anti-glare screen filters, which help block the amount of light that reflects off your desktop or laptop. These filters help your eyes from constantly making adjustments to focus.