How long do you spend looking at a screen each day? Whether it’s your phone, laptop, or TV, all that screen time doesn’t do your eyes any favours.
A June 2020 survey found that 22% of participants believed their vision had worsened since the start of the pandemic – and nearly a third believed this is because of increased screen time. While there’s no evidence that screen use damages eyesight, it can certainly cause uncomfortable symptoms.
What is digital eye strain?
Also known as computer vision syndrome, this is a group of eye conditions that are common in people who spend a long time in front of screens.
- blurred vision
- increased sensitivity to light
- dry, itchy, irritated eyes
Luckily, there’s lots of great advice out there on how to reduce eye strain caused by digital screens. We’ve put together our top tips here for you:
The 20-20-20 rule
One reason screens cause eye strain is that we don’t look away from them often enough. We recommend you take a screen break every 20 minutes and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Adjust your screen
You might find that adjusting the position and brightness of your screen can make a big difference.
Any monitor or screen should ideally be 40-75cm away from your eyes, and you should be sitting upright with relaxed shoulders, looking at the same height as your screen is, rather than looking down or up. This will also help to prevent neck strain.
Blink rate reduces by around 60% when concentrating on a digital screen, this can cause your tear film to evaporate more quickly, potentially causing discomfort and blurred vision. Eye drops can replenish and stabilise the tears, helping to keep your eyes feeling fresh and moist, reducing overall irritation and dryness. Contact our opticians in Stafford to arrange a dry eye assessment to recommend the best drops for your vision and lifestyle.
Wear anti-glare glasses
If you normally wear contact lenses, consider switching to glasses a couple of times a week to give your eyes a rest. We offer high-quality lenses from top suppliers, including lenses designed specifically to reduce glare from screens and therefore eye strain – just ask next time you have your eye test in Stafford.
Limit screen time for kids
Limiting screen time and encouraging outdoor play will give children’s eyes a good rest and plenty of fresh oxygen and will also encourage them to focus on objects at varied distances so they learn how to adapt their vision correctly.
Routine eye exams
The best way to keep digital eye strain in check or ensure your symptoms aren’t being caused by anything else is to make sure the whole family visits us regularly for eye exams. This means we’ll be able to address any vision changes and ensure your glasses or contact lens prescriptions are up to date. Contact us to book an appointment with our opticians in Stafford, or to ask for advice on eye strain.