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Is Pokemon Eye Strain a Real Thing?

Pokemon is a perfect example of old trends coming back into style. People everywhere are playing Pokemon Go. Just the day after the Pokemon app came out I was driving home from work when I noticed a couple neighborhood kids walking around like zombies. Curious, I asked what they were looking for. “Pokemon!” was the enthusiastic answer.

KidsCatchingPokemon

Yep, Pokemon Go fever is ablaze, and it is helping participants of all ages get outside and be active. But what does it do for the eyes? Too much digital exposure can indeed hurt the eyes by causing eye strain.

Eye strain is when your eyes are just too tired, but they keep getting pushed anyway. It is hard on your eyes and if you repeatedly strain your eyes you’ll likely see your prescription change for the worse. Take good care of your eyes today, and your much older self will thank you later.

Solutions

A good rule of thumb is 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, focus your eyes on something that is 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. Digital screens have a way of sucking us in and keeping our eyeballs locked in on their glowing light for minutes, tens of minutes, and sometimes hours at a time. To combat this, if you know you’re going to be on a screen for an extended period of time, it might not be a bad idea to set a timer that rings softly every 20 minutes to remind yourself to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Another element to consider is your screen brightness. If your screen seems to be a source of light in your room, then try adjusting your screen brightness so that it seems flat, or doesn’t seem to be a beacon of light in the room. It should not be the brightest thing around. This likely means a stronger screen brightness during the day, and a lower brightness at night. A bonus of adjusting your screen to a lower brightness at night is that you will fall asleep easier.

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And if you just found a Pikachu next to your dog at the same moment that your timer went off? Well, we understand how important Pokemon can be, so give yourself 21 minutes and catch the Pikachu first. We hope you catch them all!

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