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Are You Protecting Your Eyes From Digital Eye Strain?

Written by David Evans, PhD, MBA   Posted on November 9, 2016

I wrote a blog post last December about computer vision syndrome (also called digital eye strain) and wanted to revisit the subject again to supplement a brand new educational infographic we’ve developed for Better Vision Guide: How to Protect Your Eyes From Digital Strain.

These days most of us spend a majority of our day bouncing from one digital device to another. Desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets… The average American spends more than seven hours per day working on a computer, so it’s no wonder why more than 65 percent of Americans suffer from related eye strain. By making a few simple adjustments to your daily routine, you can help protect yourself from the blurred vision, eyestrain, dry eye, headaches, neck and shoulder pain that can accompany digital eye strain.

Take a Break…

Did you know that the average digital device user only blinks five to eight times per minute? (Experts say that you should blink 15 times per minute to properly lubricate the eyes for optimal health.) Don’t wait until the signs and symptoms of eye strain surface before you give your eyes a rest. When you’re at work, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20 second break to stare at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Modify Your Workspace…

Your lighting and computer setup are essential for protecting against digital eye strain. Make sure that your workspace is well lit and that overhead lighting matches the brightness of your computer screen. (I.e., don’t sit in a dark room and work on a bright screen, or sit in a brightly lit room and work on a dull screen.) Maintain good posture while seated, and adjust your monitor so that your eyes are approximately 20 to 28 inches from the screen and 4 to 5 inches above the center.

One Device at a Time…

One of the worst stressors related to digital eye strain is the constant switching between devices. In fact, approximately 77 percent of people suffering with digital eye strain use two or more devices simultaneously. If you have a desktop in your office but also work on a laptop or tablet, try consolidating your work so that you don’t have to switch as frequently. The more time you spend switching between multiple digital devices, the more likely you are to experience eye strain.

Talk to Your Eye Doctor…

A staggering 90 percent of patients don’t discuss their digital device habits with their eye doctor. Considering the amount of time that the average person spends on one or more digital devices every day, it’s one of the most important factors affecting your eye health. Make sure you discuss your habits with your doctor and ask if there are any other things you can do to protect yourself from digital strain. For example, glasses designed to correct specifically for computer viewing distance can often help to relieve symptoms.

Help Spread the Word…

I invite you to help spread the word about digital eye strain by sharing this infographic with your family, friends and colleagues via social media or simply by sending them a direct link: www.bettervisionguide.com/digital-eye-strain-infographic/

If you’d like to get even more information about avoiding digital eye strain, you can check out a slideshow we published earlier this year: 7 Ways to Combat Computer Vision Syndrome