Do you spend a significant portion of your day in front of a computer or other digital device? The average person spends around 7 hours per day in front of a digital screen, according to recent studies.
While this may sound exorbitant, consider all the time you work, learn and attend meetings online — and this doesn’t include scrolling through the messages on your phone, checking your social media accounts, watching videos or playing video games.
While the digital world provides many perks, excessive device usage can come at the expense of your eye health and vision. Too much screen time can lead to eye fatigue, eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision and neck and shoulder pain — all symptoms of a condition called computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain (DES).
Fortunately, there are ways to make screen time more comfortable for your eyes and reduce your chances of CVS.
Here are 8 of our best tips:
1. Avoid Bright Light
Bright light, whether it’s natural sunlight or harsh fluorescent bulbs, can create a glare on the screen that’s hard on the eyes. Block excessive light by closing shades and curtains, and consider switching to lower intensity light bulbs and adding a glare filter to your screen.
2. Adjust Your Screen Settings
Adjusting your device’s text size, screen brightness, color contrast and color temperature can significantly improve your visual clarity and comfort and lower your risk of CVS.
3. Blink Frequently
Studies have shown that people tend to blink less frequently when staring at a digital screen. Blinking lubricates the eyes and reduces your risk of dry eyes, a common CVS symptom that can exacerbate eye strain and eye fatigue. So make a conscious effort to blink more often while using your digital device.
4. Take Frequent Breaks
Breaking away from your screen will give your eye muscles a much-needed break and lower your risk of CVS. If you can’t get away from your desk, at least practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
5. Choose a Comfortable Chair
The ideal office chair offers comfort and support and encourages good posture. Sitting up straight and in alignment with your computer screen can help you avoid the neck and shoulder pain often associated with CVS.
6. Adjust the Position of Your Screen
When using a computer, make sure that your screen is about an arm’s length away from your eyes, angled slightly downward, so the center of the screen is 4-8 inches below eye level. Proper screen positioning can lower your chances of eye strain and neck and shoulder aches.
7. Invest in a High-Quality Digital Device
Some devices and computer screens offer greater visual comfort than others. If you're ready to upgrade your device, choose one that offers optimal eye comfort. We recommend a larger device, with high definition and a flat-panel LED screen that has an anti-reflective surface.
8. Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Many eye conditions and vision problems can cause or worsen CVS symptoms. Having regular eye exams will help you maintain your eye health and ensure that your optical prescription is up-to-date.
Would you like to learn more about how you can protect your eyes and vision? Contact Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque today to schedule an appointment. We'll be happy to answer any of your questions related to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear.
- A: An eye exam offers a comprehensive assessment of your eye health and vision. Having regular eye exams enables early detection of an eye condition or disease that may require prompt treatment. Most eye doctors recommend having an eye exam every year or two, depending on your age, personal or family history of eye disease, and if you wear corrective lenses for a refractive error like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
- A: The best way to protect your child from CVS is to set a good example. Try to limit their screen time as much as possible and encourage them to play outdoors for at least 1 to 2 hours per day. In addition to helping their eyes relax, studies have shown that children who spend at least 1 hour per day outdoors have a lower risk of developing myopia — nearsightedness.
Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.