In this day and age, you simply can’t escape the glow of smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Unfortunately, this can have some very damaging effects on your eyes.
After a full day in front of screens, many people report experiencing symptoms such as eye strain, light sensitivity, and headaches. All of these have been linked to extended screen time, and are often referred to as computer vision syndrome.
These symptoms can be especially bad for those with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism.
Since many of us need these screens for school and work, we don’t have the luxury of significantly reducing our daily screen time. Nonetheless, there are still many creative ways to reduce the painful and uncomfortable effects of extended digital screen usage.
Here are four effective ways to minimize eye fatigue and other computer vision symptoms.
Ask about ways to reduce blue light exposure
One of the most common unseen problems with digital screens is blue light exposure. Though blue light is natural, and even healthy for your eyes in moderation, excessive amounts like that experienced from long hours on screens can cause issues with sleeping and result in strain on your retina that has been linked to an increased risk of long-term retina damage.
One easy and inexpensive way to reduce the effects of blue light on your eyes is by asking your eye doctor during your annual eye exam about anti-glare and anti-blue light coatings for your glasses. Many electronics stores will also sell blue light filters for your computer and other digital screens.
Try the “20-20-20 Rule.
Research shows that spending long hours concentrating on computer work significantly decreases the number of blinks you take per minute, leading to dry, red, itchy eyes.
Try the “20-20-20 Break and Blink Rule” to help increase the number of blinks you take while working. Every 20 minutes in front of your computer, look at an object 20 ft away from you for 20 seconds and blink. This gives your eyes a chance to “reset” before continuing to work and helps prevent eye strain, dry eyes, and headaches.
Take Eye Health Supplements.
Eye health supplements contain healthy and essential nutrients and vitamins and minerals that can help reduce the harmful effects of digital screens. Zeaxanthin and Lutein are anti-oxidants found in many supplements that can’t be naturally produced in the body and help protect the macula from blue light damage.
High-quality eye health supplements can reduce computer vision symptoms, as well as minimize the long-term risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Lubricate your eyes.
Naturally, our eyes lubricate themselves by blinking. However, because of the reduced rate of blinking mentioned earlier, eyes tend to dry out faster while concentrating on digital screens.
One way to combat this is by the use of lubricating drops or artificial tears. Though over-the-counter eye drops are easy to obtain, it’s always better to speak to your eye doctor to get the best advice on what will help you the most. In many cases, prescription eye drops or artificial tears will be much more effective.
For more information on how you can reduce eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome, speak to our eye care professionals at today!
Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry, your Burlington eye doctor for eye exams and eye care.
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