How to Protect Your Eyes From Extended Screen Time

Updated on June 18, 2021

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strained eye

Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome, haven’t you heard of it before? Know about it before you start noticing it happening to you.

In short, it is the negative impact that screens have on your eyes. As a result, your eyes may suffer from a group of eye and vision-related problems. These eye conditions start from tired, burning, and itching eyes and may worsen to more severe issues like blurred vision, headaches, sore neck and shoulders, and increased sensitivity to light.

DES or CVS is a very commonly experienced eye problem today because almost all of us use screens in our daily lives. We use it for work, gathering information, entertainment, studying, and a lot more. According to a survey, an average office worker spends more than 1700 hours every year in front of computer screens. And it was before the pandemic hit the planet Earth and we all started working from home, almost doubling this duration. Not to forget, this survey did not add in the time we spend on our smartphones, television, and other digital screens.

 

How to Protect Your Eyes from the Effects of Screen Time?

 

The most important thing to consider is how we can protect our eyes from the CVS. Technology, if on the one hand, has exposed us to various harms, on the other hand, has found out ways to protect us. Advancements in medical science have increased the average life expectancy by making incredible discoveries and inventions.

In this article, we will talk about some methods that can help us protect our eyes from the negative impacts of mobile, computers, and other digital screens usage, as avoiding their use is near to impossible!

 

1. Keep Your Screen Eye-friendly

 

While you are using a screen, whether a mobile or a laptop, you try to focus on the displayed content. And if the glare on the screen is too sharp, your eyes find it difficult to concentrate on the content resulting in eye strain.

It is better to use an anti-glare matte screen as compared to glass-covered LCDs to avoid this problem. If you wear eyeglasses, you should use an anti-reflective coating on your eyeglasses’ lenses.

 

2. Use Blue Light Blocking Glasses

 

Have you ever thought about why the light emitted by the screens is a lot more dangerous to our eyes than the other sources of light around us? This is because the screens of digital devices emit blue light rays, which have a short wavelength. It is known for causing damage to the human eye.

You can use specially designed blue light blocking glasses to avoid this damage. If you use prescription glasses due to some vision problem, you can opt for blue light prescription glasses to protect your eyes from both eye strain and blue light impact simultaneously. Moreover, most mobiles and laptop screens offer a blue light filter display setting to help relieve your eyes. Many brands nowadays such as Warby Parker, Overnight Glasses, and Zenni Optical offer a great variety of high-quality blue light blocking glasses at affordable prices.

woman working on pc with blue light glasses

 

3. Remind Yourself of Blinking

 

Blinking is a natural way of relaxing our eyes. It helps our eyes in refocusing and staying moist. But the problem arises when we get so much indulged while using a mobile phone that we forget to blink our eyes.

Many ophthalmologists suggest doing a simple blinking exercise in which you have to take your eyes off the screen and blink them quickly for 60 to 90 seconds. This easy exercise will refresh your eyes for further screen usage.

 

4. Use the 20/20/20 Rule

 

Your eyes are designed in a way that they need rest after prolonged strenuous use. They are not intended to stare at something for hours without giving them a break. Therefore, doctors have developed a 20/20/20 rule to help your eyes to rest during extended screen times.

In this method, after every 20 minutes of screen usage, you are advised to take your eyes off the screen and stare at something at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. It prepares your eyes to bear the next 20 minutes of strain.

woman eye through a hole in yellow paper

 

5. Keep Your Screen At a Distance

 

One of the primary reasons why screens are detrimental to our eye health is that we keep staring at them while keeping them too close to our eyes. It happens especially when we use our mobile phones and tablets. The recommended distance between your eyes and your phone screen is 16 to 18 inches. If you can’t see it clearly at this distance, it is better to zoom in to see clear rather than bringing the screen closer to your eyes.

 

6. Have Regular Eye Exams

 

The best advice you can get for the protection of your eyes is the one you get from your doctor. Hence, it is wise to get a regular eye exam with your ophthalmologist. Let him know how much time you spend in front of the screen throughout the day. Your doctor will suggest you the best possible precautions to protect your eyes and eyesight. This may include the use of artificial tears, protective eyeglasses, protective screen covers, etc.

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