Digital eye strain is a new problem of the 21st Century because almost everyone spends excessive time on laptops, phones, or tablets. This issue has increased drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic due to work from home and online classes. Even though this can have adverse effects on your eye, the damage can be prevented and reversed by using a few simple techniques.
Symptoms of Eye Straining
Some of the common signs and symptoms of eye strain due to excessive use of the eyes include:
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Burning in the eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Hard to keep the eyes open
- Water in eyes
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Headache or neck pain
Easy Ways to Prevent Eye Strain
Eye strain is not a severe eye disorder and is relatively easy to prevent. Since it mostly happens due to the excessive use of electronic devices, most of the preventative strategies are given accordingly:
Use the 20-20-20 Rule.
The 20-20-20 rule is known as a calming exercise for the eyes. It involves taking a 20-second break after every 20 minutes and then looking 20 feet away to focus on any object. This rule is relatively easy to remember due to its name; you can set alarms to remind you of doing this activity every 20 minutes. This exercise reduces eye strain and improves focus by letting the eye rest for a while.
Also Read: 5 Tips To Prevent Computer Eye Strain
Blinking more Often
This tip is primarily for people working in dry environments like offices with air conditioning. While working, we often forget to blink, which causes the water from our eyes to evaporate quickly, especially in dry conditions. So, just by the simple act of blinking more often, you are increasing the moisture content inside your eye, which prevents dry eyes. Blinking ten times very slowly after every 20 minutes is a good practice that will rewet your eyes and avoid eye strain.
Set a Proper Workstation
Eye straining is usually caused when your computer or laptop is not adjusted according to your height or seating level. This can result in other problems like headache, neck or shoulder pain. Use the following methods to improve your workstation:
- Adjust your laptop or computer screen at least 20 inches away from your eyes
- The screen should be a little below your eye level
- Adjust the brightness of your device according to your comfort (neither too bright nor too low)
- Choose a chair with good back support to improve your posture
- Don’t hunch your shoulders or look too closely at the screen
Change the Text Size
Changing the contrast and size of your device’s text also provides some much-needed relief to the eyes. It makes reading web content, email messages, calendar appointments, and anything else on your easier. This also prevents squinting your eyes at the screen, reduces chances of headaches, and prevents eyes from straining.
Spend More Time Outdoors
You should make it a daily habit to spend at least 15 minutes outside. Researches have shown that spending time in nature can reduce the progression of nearsightedness. It is also linked to reducing eye strain, providing more oxygen, preventing dry eyes, and reducing stress. Going for a walk for 15 to 30 minutes every day and looking at the sky or greenery of the plants can majorly reduce the problem of eye strain.
Get your Eyesight checked
If you are someone who spends a lot of time indoors looking at electronic devices, getting your vision checked at least twice a year is highly recommended. Sometimes we keep using the same glasses for a long time without getting a new vision test which can cause eye strain and frequent headaches. Therefore, paying a visit to your eye specialist in Lahore and getting your glasses updated regularly is advisable.
Adjust the Lighting
Avoid glare from overhead lights or windows by positioning the computer screen. Replace light bulbs in desk lamps with lower wattage bulbs and use blinds or drapes on windows. Use screens with anti-reflective coatings. You can also use a screen glare filter if there is no way to reduce glare from light sources. These filters reduce the amount of light emitted by the screen.
Lubricating Eye Drops
Lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears, are readily available over the counter. They work well in providing lubrication to the eyes. People with dry eye problems or those who work for long periods can use these to prevent eye strain.
Avoid Using Devices Before Bed
Blue light present in electronic devices is responsible for waking us up during the daytime and does the same thing at night. So, when we use our phone before bed, it might lead to loss of sleep and disturb our sleep cycle, ultimately resulting in the problem of eyestrain. Therefore, avoiding phones, tablets, or laptops 2 hours before going to bed is considered a good practice. Using the nighttime filter can also be helpful after 7 P.M..
Consult an Eye Specialist
A trip to the eye specialist once a year is essential for the entire family (especially children). Inquire with your doctor about the best options for helping you or your children reduce eye strain, such as computer vision or blue light lenses. Some blue light coatings can be applied to non-prescription eyewear even if you do not wear corrective lenses.