How To Prevent Eye Strain and Damage From Electronic Devices
Your Devices and How You Interact With Them
The easiest way to help yourself reduce risk of digital eye strain when working at a computer or using a portable electronic device is to follow what many eye care providers call the "20-20-20" rule:
Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and view an object that's at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
This simple technique has two important stress-busting effects:
- It relaxes eye muscles that keep your eyes focused and aligned when viewing close objects, which reduces eye fatigue.
- It stimulates you to blink your eyes, which reduces dry eye symptoms.
Other things you can do to reduce your risk of eye discomfort include:
- Blink your eyes fully after each page view.
- Get up from your desk at least every 20 minutes to stretch your body and relax your eyes.
- Increase the size of the font on your screen.
- Adjust your device's brightness and/or contrast settings.
- Purchase a device with a higher resolution screen.
- Make sure you are holding your device at least 10 to 12 inches from your eyes.
In addition, remember to...
See Your Eye Doctor
Even if you aren't experiencing eye strain from your computer or other electronic devices, it's a good idea to see your eye doctor for a thorough eye exam especially if you spend several hours a day in front of your screen(s).
Your eye doctor can detect subtle vision problems or eye conditions that might put you at greater risk of digital eye strain, and prescribe remedies to improve your comfort when using your devices.
Also, ask your eye doctor about computer glasses. Eyewear with special tints and coatings can reduce your exposure to potentially harmful blue light and eliminate fatigue-causing glare from light reflecting from the surface of your screen.
Your doctor also can prescribe "computer lenses" specifically tailored for your preferred viewing range and (if you are over age 40 and wear bifocals or progressive lenses) prescribe special lenses that eliminate computer-viewing problems associated with regular multifocal lenses.
Your eye doctor also can perform simple tests to determine if you are at risk of dry eyes, and can offer solutions to help keep your eyes moist and comfortable throughout the day.
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