Tips to Avoid Eye-Strain

Last updated: September 2021

With all the changes happening because of the global pandemic, many of us are finding ourselves using technology more and more. This can really put a strain on our eyes and make us question how safe it is to add even more screen time than we were used to before all of this change.

Too much screen time working from home?

Granted, many of us were still behind a computer screen during a large part of our workday when we were ‘going’ to work. But, working from home facilitates even more hours of screen time. Face to face discussions have turned into text messages and emails, and our meetings are no longer in person but held via video conferencing.

Protect young eyes in (virtual) school

In recent years, schools have steadily increased the amount of time students spend online during academic hours. However, when classes are held remotely, these young people (and their young eyes) are behind electronic devices much more than before.

Not to mention many children and younger adults are not only ‘working’ behind screens all day, but they’re spending downtime behind devices, as well. Texting and messaging friends, scrolling through social media, reading articles, and playing games just to name a few.

What we can do about excessive screen time

Nowadays, we wonder all the time about our ‘new normal'. This extra screen time doesn’t seem to be something that’s changing anytime soon. This means we have to be diligent about protecting our fragile eyes (and our children’s and grandchildren’s fragile eyes) from potentially harmful blue light.

Taking precautions

There are things we CAN do to help keep our eyes healthy during this strange time.

Blue light blocking glasses to protect our eyes

Blue light is mainly emitted from the sun but is also emitted from many electronic devices. Blue light can cause damage to our eyes, specifically our retinas. Watch this video I made about blue light blocking glasses for more information on them. Don’t forget that you can also change the brightness and light settings on your electronic devices. You can change the background colors as well. Each of us prefers different settings, so playing around with them is the easiest way to see what works best for you.

Taking breaks from the screen

It’s important to give our eyes a break throughout the day. Being behind a screen for extended periods of time can cause digital eye strain. Digital eye strain can present itself with dry and itchy eyes, or watering and burning eyes. It can cause double or blurry vision, and even difficulty concentrating. Taking breaks throughout the day can help ease these symptoms.

Another article here at titled Does Looking at Electronic Devices Damage My Eyes? explains that we should follow the '20-20-20 rule' for giving our eyes reprieve from the hardships of staring at a screen for too long. This article states: “The American Academy of Ophthalmologists (AAO) advises us to give our eyes a break. Take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking into the distance allows your eyes to relax.”1

Keep up with the basic needs of our eyes

Continuing to eat healthily, exercise, take vitamins, sleep, and care for our emotional needs is also really important. Each small piece of the macular degeneration puzzle matters and adds up to the bigger goal of optimal eye health and vision preservation.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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