Protect Your Eyes from Digital Strain

laptop technology ipad tablet

We all love our digital devices. In fact, most of us touch our phones and gadgets first before even saying good morning to the person sleeping next to us. These wonderful inventions have grown thinner due to advancing LED technology, and they are lighter and brighter than they were before. However, these devices give off harmful blue light which can lead to digital eye strain.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain (Computer Vision Syndrome) happens when you stare at a digital screen for too long. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Sore, tired, and red eyes
  • Dry or teary eyes
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Lack of focus
  • Doubling or blurring of vision
  • Sensation that you can’t seem to keep your eyes open
  • Increased light sensitivity

These symptoms are caused by harmful blue light given off by our digital devices like our laptop and computer screens, tablets, and cellular phones. Here are some tips to help you lessen these manifestations so that you can be more productive and enjoy your day.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Take breaks every 20 minutes by staring at something twenty feet away for 20 seconds. This will reduce strain by relaxing your muscles around your eyes and, more importantly, the muscles inside them.

Blink Often

Prevent your eyes from getting dry by remembering to blink often. Blinking delivers natural tears over your cornea to keep it moist. It’s important that we blink 18 times per minute to make sure that the cornea stays nourished throughout the day.

Reduce Glare

Light bouncing off from walls, finished surfaces, as well as your computer are the most common sources of excessive light. Use dark matted covers for your table top and always make sure that your screens are clean. Stay away from the window as much as possible, or use curtains to reduce the amount of light coming from outside. Dim your digital display to a comfortable intensity, or select the warm setting to reduce the amount of blue light coming from your device.

Use Ambient Lighting

Make sure that your surroundings are well-lit to counteract the glare coming from your digital devices. Use warm white or soft white LED bulbs at home or in your bedroom since they do not have that much blue light compared to white light.

Keep Your Device at a Distance

Most of us prefer to hold our devices close to our eyes; probably because it’s comfortable that way, or we just don’t want anybody to see what’s on our screen. Holding devices close to our eyes increases the intensity of blue light our eyes are getting. Aside from that, looking at something 8-10 inches away forces our eyes to exert effort to converge together and see clearly. It’s better to keep devices 14-16 inches away, while large computer screens should be at least 20 inches.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Make sure that you always visit your optometrist regularly. Update your eyeglasses to help you see clearly at near, and ask for special lenses that block out harmful blue light. These lenses help reduce digital eye strain by blocking or filtering out specific wavelengths of blue light that can cause glare and possible damage to your eyes.

I use blue filtering lenses whenever I have to be in front of a digital screen. I prefer using them over multi-coated lenses because they give me comfort; I no longer feel headaches, my eyes take longer to get tired, and I can see better without having to squint or dim my screen too low.

Hope these practices will help you lessen if not relieve the discomfort that you are feeling whenever you use your digital devices. Feel free to share your experiences with digital eye strain and what measures you take to cope with them.


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