Signs that you may have eye damage from computer use include dryness, itching, irritation, strain, discomfort, and even a loss of your good vision. Today, most people integrate a computer screen into their day for 40 hours per week, or more. The typical behavior of the American workforce has led many people to the optometrist asking, “How can I protect my eyes from computer damage?” The question is becoming more common every day however, the answer is not as simple as you may think. In fact, separating yourself from computer glare may prove to be difficult especially if you work in an office, and then use a tablet, or smartphone at night. Most Americans spend their free time with some sort of technological device, but from a laptop to your smartphone — it could be time to part ways if your usage is harming your health. The effects of long-term computer use on your eyes are known to be harmful, and damaging, but that does not make it any easier to toss out your tech.
5 Ways to Protect Your Eyes From Computer Damage
It is important to know how to protect your eyes from computer damage, so follow these five steps.
- Check for Signs. The symptoms of computer damage to your eyes are more obvious if you are looking for the signs from your body. Perform a simple check for eye damage at the beginning, and end of your day looking for anything from dryness, to loss of vision. Report anything unusual to Diamond Vision immediately in order to protect your eyes from more serious damage that could be caused by ignoring the symptoms of computer damage.
- Use of Protection. One of the biggest mistakes people make as long-term computer users are NOT using eye protection for computer screens. If you are able to wear protective eyewear that offers polarized UV protection you can greatly reduce your risk of experiencing eye damage from a computer. Also, check to see if your computer has a setting to reduce the amount of blue light (ultraviolet light) used in your screen setting. If you are using a computer at your job, this is an essential step in protecting your eyes from computer damage.
- Stay Moist. “My dry eyes make me feel tired,” is the most common complaint of full-time computer users. Talk to an eye specialist about how to find the right eye drops for dry eyes from computer use. Then, use the eye drops as suggested on the bottle, or as your specialist indicates. Preventing dry eyes from computer use is how to heal eye strain, and irritation from UV light omitted from your tech devices.
- Adjust Your Posture. If you work a 40-hour week in front of a computer screen consider how to avoid eye damage. Start by adjusting your posture to align with the monitor so that you are positioned directly in front of the computer, without any tilt. Your viewing distance should be about 20 to 40 inches away from the computer, which is about arm’s length. Looking at the top of your computer monitor, your gaze should be eye-level, or slightly below the top of the screen. Relax your shoulders, and sit in a chair that supports your body all the way up to your back, keeping your body upright.
- Rest Accordingly. Now that you know eye damage occurs as the result of too much time in front of a computer screen, it is important to create a rest schedule. If you work with a computer more than 40 hours a week, take breaks to rest your body, and your eyes so that you prioritize your good vision. If you are able to take a five to seven-minute rest every two hours including a longer break during the afternoon, you can reduce your risk of permanent eye damage, and vision loss over time. Use eye exercises, and short periods of closing your eyes during the day for 30 seconds for how to heal eye strain, and symptoms of eye damage from computers.
How Can I Get Relief From Computer Damage?
If you are already noticing eye damage from long-term computer use talk to an eye specialist immediately. While it is best to prevent damage to your eyes with daily computer usage, it is not always possible to keep the symptoms at bay. Here is a shortlist of at-home remedies for eye damage from computer use that you can use until you find a permanent solution to your symptoms including eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and muscle tension in the neck, and shoulders.
- Regular Eye Exams. Call the offices of Diamond Vision to schedule a regular eye exam. This is the best way to talk to a professional eye doctor about how much time you spend on a computer and digital devices. You can discuss the types of computers you use, how much time you spend online, tips on reducing your risk, and ways to reverse eye damage. If you need specific details for your workplace environment, making regular eye appointments can serve as a measurement for your eye health.
- At-Home Care. There are things you can do at home to reduce your risk of eye damage. Following an everyday eye care regimen is a good way to notice the symptoms of damage from computers, and it may include a saline wash, a visual exam, and eye exercises. Further, you may adjust your lights with LED bulbs, purchase anti-reflective coatings for your computer screens, or upgrade the display settings on your digital devices.
- Address Dryness. Dry eyes from computer use is a sign that you are suffering from eye strain. In one study, researchers found that the effects of long-term computer use on eye dryness may worsen over time, and ultimately cause a variety of eye conditions. Talk to your eye specialist about dry eyes to prevent dry disease.
How Much Time on The Computer is Too Much?
If you count up how much time you spend on a computer at work, and on a device at home checking emails, catching up on something reading, and shopping, or taking photos it may shock you. The reality of how much time you spend exposed to UV light is that it adds up to eye damage. Looking at the year from the perspective of the American Academy of Optometry, a study revealed that working only two hours on a laptop computer is enough to damage your eyes. A significant increase in eye pain and vision problems were reported by the Vision Council in 59 percent of people who use computers, and other digital devices regularly.
Tips to Limit Your Computer Use
If you want to cut back on your computer use and reduce your risk of eye damage, try these tips.
- Eat without your phone or device
- Limit hours outside of work with a device
- Do not watch TV, or movies with your smartphone
- Reduce your social media presence to one profile, or less
- Take up a new sport, or hobby
- Schedule in-person social meetings
- Take computers out of shared spaces in your home
Call the offices of Diamond Vision to schedule your regular eye exams. If you work with a computer and are exposed to blue light in your workplace you can help prevent eye damage. Reduce your risk of eye damage from computer use with these tips, and call an eye specialist, today!