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7 Tips for Protecting Your Eyes From Digital Eye Strain

woman at computer rubbing her eyes due to eye strain

You put in your new contacts and love how clearly you can see. Everything looks crisp and clean. But, after spending hours at your computer, the crisp vision is gone. Everything is a bit blurry. Not only that, but you get headaches and your eyes are irritated.

What happened? You forgot to protect your eyes from digital eye strain! But don’t worry. It’s not permanent and there are many things you can do to keep it at bay. Here are our 7 tips to stop eye strain from occurring.

What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Eye strain isn’t a disease, it’s an eye condition with the following symptoms:

For many people, eye strain comes from looking at something for long periods of time. When you get eye strain from staring at electronic devices, such as computer screens, cell phones and tablets, it’s called digital eye strain.

However, digital eye strain does not require you to quit using digital devices. Instead, you should follow these helpful tips.

Tip #1: Take Breaks

the words time for a break written in black marker

If you have to work at a computer for more than four hours, take breaks throughout the day. The best way to do this is by using the 20-20-20 method. It’s easy:

As an added bonus, taking breaks actually helps productivity. So if you are at work, breaking to reduce digital eye strain could make you a better employee. On top of taking these 20-second breaks, you should also get up from the digital monitor for five minutes every hour. Make sure to also stretch your neck and back during this time.

Tip #2: Remember to Blink

woman with both eyes closed

Did you know that you don’t blink as often when looking at a digital screen? It’s true. Less blinking, especially for those wearing contacts, leads to dry eyes. Blinking produces tears. Without enough tears, your eyes will get dry. It will also feel uncomfortable to wear your contacts since there’s less lubrication. On the other hand, if you take plenty of breaks but still have dry eyes, there is another option. Give rewetting drops a try. If you wear contacts, get drops that are compatible with contact lenses.

Tip #3: Rearrange Your Office

Man on ladder removing light from a fixture in the ceiling

There are probably many things about your office arrangement that can lead to digital eye strain. Here are a few to consider:

Tip #4: Change Your Monitor’s Settings

computer monitor and keyboard on a white desk

All computer monitors come with display settings, but it's easy to forget about this. By changing your settings, you can eliminate digital eye strain. Here are some things you can adjust:

Tip #5: Do Eye Exercises

woman with one hand over her eye, blue background

The longer you stare at a screen, the more likely you are to develop digital eye strain. So, ion top of the 20-20-20 routine, there are some other eye exercises you can do:

Tip #6: Use Computer Eyewear

businessman wearing glasses working on laptop

Sometimes, your current prescription is not right for deskwork. This is especially true for those who need progressive lenses or bifocals. Your eye doctor can help you find the perfect prescription for computer use. This may consist of:

Tip #7: Visit an Eye Doctor to See How to Protect Your Eyes

female eye doctor giving man an eye test

No matter what, you should have your eyes checked every year. When you see your eye doctor, be sure to tell them about your computer usage. Once your doctor understands your situation, he or she can thoroughly check your vision. You can also get further tips on how to avoid digital eye strain.

Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to avoid using digital devices. However, by following these 7 tips, you can avoid the eye strain that often accompanies digital screen use. So, get back to work, but do so safely!

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