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How can I prevent digital eyestrain?

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No, you don’t have to cut out all screen time -- but a few changes to how your use your devices can be easier on your eyes. For example:

  • Make sure your computer screen is about 25 inches, or an arm's length, away from your face. The center of the screen should be about 10-15 degrees below eye level.
  • Cut glare by using a matte screen filter. You can find them for all types of computers, phones, and tablets.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • Take a longer break of about 15 minutes after every 2 hours you spend on your devices.
  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
  • Try putting a humidifier in the room where you most often use a computer or other device.
  • Make sure the lighting in the room you’re in is bright enough. You don’t want your device to be brighter than the surroundings.
  • If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break by wearing your glasses.
  • Get regular eye exams. You might need to use a different pair of glasses when you’re working on a computer.

SOURCES:

American Optometric Association: “Computer Vision Syndrome.”

Malaysian Family Physician: “Understanding and Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome.”

American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Computers, Digital Devices and Eye Strain.”

Optometry in Practice: “Computer vision syndrome.”

AllAboutVision: “Computer Eye Strain: 10 Steps for Relief.”

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on August 6, 2019

SOURCES:

American Optometric Association: “Computer Vision Syndrome.”

Malaysian Family Physician: “Understanding and Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome.”

American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Computers, Digital Devices and Eye Strain.”

Optometry in Practice: “Computer vision syndrome.”

AllAboutVision: “Computer Eye Strain: 10 Steps for Relief.”

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on August 6, 2019

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