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5 Tips to Relieve Digital Eye Strain

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5 Tips to Relieve Digital Eye Strain


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The headaches. The dry, tired eyes. The blurry vision. The neck and shoulder pain.

Sound familiar?

Perhaps you can identify with this after putting in long hours at your work desk, or after too much browsing through social media. With laptops, tablets, and smart phones becoming a part of our everyday lives, digital eye strain is becoming more problematic among adults and children.

Eye strain is caused by fatigue of the eye muscles after intense usage. This can occur during activities such as reading or using a computer for too long.  While it is unrealistic to completely eliminate the use of technology, here are a few tips to remember to keep your eyes in check:

1) Practice the 20/20/20 rule: After every 20 minutes looking at a screen, take a rest for 20 seconds by looking at something 20 feet away. This quick activity will give your eyes a much needed break and allow them to relax and refocus.

2) Adjust the position of your device: Bad posture may be contributing to your neck, shoulder, or back pain. Sit up tall and prop your screen up so that it is about 10 to 15 degrees below eye level. This will reduce the strain from your eyes and neck and may lessen the frequency of headaches. Additionally, there should be about an arm’s length between you and your screen. Holding a device too close to your face will increase the likelihood of eye strain.

3) Check the lighting: Just as reading a book in low lighting forces your eyes to work harder to see, so will looking at a dimly lit screen. Adjust the brightness settings on your device so that it is neither too dark nor too bright. It should be about as bright as the light surrounding your space. Additionally, minimize glare and excessive lighting coming from windows or overhead fluorescent lights.

4) Don’t forget to blink: You may not realize it, but many people forget to blink frequently when in front of a screen. Blinking is essential for keeping the eye moist, and not doing it may contribute to your eye irritation, dryness, and red eyes. Making the extra effort to blink more often can make a big difference.

5) Consider computer glasses: Getting glasses specifically for computer use is a good option if you are prone to digital eye strain. Not only will glasses provide extra comfort in front of your screen, but they can help you see clearer and with fewer side-effects of eye strain. Talk to Dr. Ashcraft about if you are a good candidate for computer eye glasses. He will determine which prescription and frames will work best for you and your needs.

At Family Eyecare Center, we want to help you alleviate symptoms of eye strain and help meet all your other eye care needs. To schedule an eye exam with Dr. Ashcraft, call us today at 310-670-4411.

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