It seems every year we are doing more work on our computers and less work with paper and physical files. While this is great for the environment, it isn’t so great for our eyes. March is “Save Your Vision Month” and one way we can all keep our eyes healthy is by paying attention to our screen time. Molly Corrigan, Vision Care Territory Manager with Bausch and Lomb explains, “Digital eye strain entails eye fatigue, dryness, fluctuating vision, and irritation. Our device usage can also lead to head, neck, and back pain.” She has the following tips to reduce digital eye strain:
- Redirect air vents and reduce overhead/ambient lighting
- Install anti-glare protective screens for monitors
- Increase text size and lower computer height to slightly below eye level
- Take frequent visual breaks to rest the eyes
- Wear targeted intermediate vision correction with blue-blocking and anti-reflective lenses.
The American Optometric Association suggests you follow their handy 20-20-20 Rule – take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. Additionally, they say to blink often – many people have a tendency to stare at a screen and physically forget to blink, leading to dry eyes.
No matter what profession you work in, chances are you’re using a computer, smart phone, and/or tablet more than ever before. Don’t forget to give your eyes a break, and if you are having troubles with digital eye strain, check out the AOA’s suggestions for the most optimal desk set up here.