Tips for Maintaining Good Eye Health in the Digital Age

eye health in the digital age

Eye Health in the Digital Age

If you’re like most people, you stare at a screen for a large number of your waking hours. It’s estimated that the average American spends about seven hours each day looking at screens, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and televisions. There are plenty of benefits to our technologically-focused world, but all that technology can be rough on your vision. The fatigue, blurred vision and dryness in the eyes you’ve probably experienced after a day of screens is known as digital eye strain, or Computer Vision Syndrome. This happens when the muscles inside the eyes become strained because of too much focus on a single point, and it happens to about 61 percent of people after prolonged use of electronics. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to preserve your eye health, even if you can’t avoid excessive screen time. Here, we offer some tips for maintaining eye health and preventing digital eye strain.

Tips for Maintaining Eye Health

  • Position your screen correctly. Your TV or computer screen should be at eye level or 15 to 20 degrees below it, so that you don’t have to look up and put undue strain on your eyes. Any reference materials should be positioned below the screen and above the keyboard, so that you won’t have to continually move your head, neck, and shoulders and refocus your eyes.
  • Don’t forget to blink. It’s easy to get so focused on the screen that you don’t blink, but blinking helps reduce the risk of dry eye by keeping your eyes moist.
  • Give your eyes a break. Every two hours, take a 15 minute break from the computer, using it to walk away from your desk and do something that takes you away from the screen. Additionally, follow the 20/20/20 rule. While you’re at the computer, look away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, and focus on an object 20 feet away. This helps relax your eye muscles and refresh your eyes.
  • Keep your glasses clean. This will make it easier to read without squinting. Make sure you have no dirt, oil or anything else on your lens that could block your vision.
  • Make sure the rest of your workspace is properly configured. Make sure your workstation is ergonomically sound, with the height of your office chair and its arms positioned in a way that provides support when you’re typing. Position your screen so there’s no glare, and work in a well-lit location. If you’re having trouble reading what’s on the screen, make the text bigger so that you don’t strain your eyes.
  • Stay off screens when you don’t need to be on screens. If you are someone who has to use a screen for school or work, plan activities for your free time that don’t involve screens. Do some gardening, read a book, go for a walk, or play with your kids or pets, outside, away from the phone and the television.
  • Make lifestyle choices that support eye health. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a diet full of nutrient-dense foods known to help maintain good eye health.

Let Us Help You Take Care of Your Eyes

In some cases, switching to eyeglass lenses designed to be used with screens can make a world of difference, and your eye doctor can help keep you abreast of new technologies that help prevent eye strain. If you’re looking for an eye doctor in Derry, Londonderry, or Windham, the ophthalmologists and optometrists at Spindel Eye Associates are here for you. Having spent over 35 years providing eye care in New Hampshire, our eye doctors proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an eye exam call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.