Ways to Prevent Digital Strain

The age of the smart­phone has brought a dig­i­tal screen to even more Amer­i­cans than just those indi­vid­u­als who sit in front of a com­put­er screen. With so many more indi­vid­u­als spend­ing hours star­ing at a dig­i­tal screen day in and day out, has brought a lot of atten­tion to the neg­a­tive health effects. One of the biggest, and per­haps the most obvi­ous, issues of the dig­i­tal age is the effect on the eyes. While there may some­times be no avoid­ing star­ing at a screen, there are some very effec­tive ways to reduce and pre­vent dig­i­tal eye strain or some­times referred to as com­put­er vision syn­drome.

Dig­i­tal eye strain can be caused from look­ing close­ly at a dig­i­tal screen for more than two hours and can cause headaches, blurred vision, tired­ness, and neck and shoul­der pain. Many of these symp­toms are caused from exces­sive dry eyes because when an indi­vid­ual is view­ing a dig­i­tal screen, the blink rate decreas­es which results in less lubri­cat­ed eyes. Here are some easy tips to help pre­vent dig­i­tal eye strain.

Take Fre­quent Breaks

Inter­rupt­ing long peri­ods of screen work by fre­quent breaks can be a great way to pre­vent exces­sive strain on the eyes. Every 20–30 min­utes, indi­vid­u­als should look away from the screen and focus on an object across the room for 20–30 sec­onds. This will allow the eyes to adjust and relax the focus­ing mus­cles that are heav­i­ly used.

Keep the Dis­tance

Sit­ting too close to the com­put­er screen caus­es the eyes to focus even hard­er. A good rule to fol­low is to posi­tion the com­put­er screen an arms length away and hand­held screens should be at least 18 inch­es from the eyes.

Blink More Often

Since exces­sive dry eyes can cause a lot of the symp­toms relat­ed to dig­i­tal eye strain, it can be very ben­e­fi­cial to blink more often. While this may be dif­fi­cult to be con­scious of through­out the work­day, doing so can form a habit that leads to long-term ben­e­fits for the eyes.

Bet­ter Light­ing

Office set­tings are often too bright and eye strain can be caused by exces­sive­ly bright light. By mak­ing sure to avoid direct flu­o­res­cent light­ing in a work­space and mak­ing sure that win­dows are to the side of the screens, not in front or behind can great­ly reduce the strain on the eyes.

Eye Exams

Get­ting fre­quent eye exams can be one of the most impor­tant aspects to pre­vent­ing eye issues caused by dig­i­tal screens. Talk­ing with an eye care provider about the num­ber of hours spent in front of a screen and at what dis­tance can help test and deter­mine if any issues are devel­op­ing.

These sim­ple tips can help reduce unnec­es­sary strain on the eyes that is caused by dig­i­tal screens. While many indi­vid­u­als can­not help the num­ber of hours need­ed to be spent in front of a screen, some can sim­ply be more con­scious of the time and cut back when it allows. How­ev­er, the very best pre­ven­tion is lim­i­ta­tion.

November 18th, 2015|Comments Off on Ways to Prevent Digital Strain

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