In our technology-fueled world, it is important that users understand the importance of eye health. Did you know that constant improper computer and smartphone use is grounds for an individual to develop digital eye strain? Digital eye strain is the development of painful symptoms after the use of digital media for a prolonged amount of time. These symptoms include “red or dry eyes, blurred vision, general fatigue, or headaches”. The Vision Council has a 16-page document dedicated solely to inform the masses of this problem; it also describes who can develop symptoms, and many ways to alleviate the symptoms of digital eye strain.
The Vision Council reminds us that digital eye strain can be avoided and even corrected. “Digital eye strain is not permanent, but the discomfort is cause enough for concern. A 2012 survey by the Vision Council found that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults experience some form of digital eyestrain while using their electronic devices. According to eye care experts, the problem is twofold: the physical properties of technology are demanding on eyes and many people use devices in a way that can increase discomfort.”
Preventing Digital Eye Strain
The Vision Council has included some very informative infographics in their document. These pictures illustrate how one can prevent digital eye strain by correcting their posture and the way they view digital media.
Making sure that your monitor is at the right height, and changing your chair setting so that it correctly supports your back are small changes that can greatly alleviate strain. Check that your monitor is in a flat, upright position with no tilt and, also, verify that your monitor is an arm’s distance from your body (with your hand flat against the monitor).
Opting for computer glasses is another great solution to eye strain. Gamers are making eyewear brands such as Gunnar popular due to their use and stylish frames. But Gunnar glasses are just one option in a grand scope of eyewear available in the market today. Specialized computer glasses are used to shield eyes from UV, enhance color, and to increase contrast, all of which helps eyes to relax and, ultimately, reduces eyestrain.
The Vision Council also reminds us that every 20 minutes you should take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away. This small practice will help prevent digital eye strain. There are many ways to help remind about the 20-20-20 rule. Many online options include Awareness, WorkRave, Time Out, and ProtectYourVision. Google Chrome even has an extension, eyeCare, which, after downloading to your Chrome browser, informs you every 20 minutes when it is time for a micro-break. It even has eye exercises that you can try.
Correct smartphone use can help diminish eye strain, as well. Keeping the device at a comfortable distance and enlarged font are all contributing factors for relief.
Remember to use the 20-20-20 rule everyday, along with the other physical changes that you can make to your usage and you’ll be well on your way to alleviating eye strain.