Digital tools have become increasingly crucial for daily life these past few years. Besides using them for hobbies, more people use computers, tablets, and phones for work and school, and the digital world is opening doors and creating opportunities to make money online. As such, digital eye strain has increased, with people experiencing discomfort after looking at their screens for too long. A study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that people—especially those younger—who spent more time using screens had more digital eye strain symptoms than those with less screen time. Other than eye strain, headaches were also found
to be a common effect.

Prolonged screen time can impact your eye health over time, affecting your overall physical, mental, and social wellbeing in turn. Fortunately, there are many solutions to help give your eyes a break and relieve you of eye fatigue. Here’s how you can protect your eyes from the effects of too much screen time:

Use anti-reflective, anti-glare lenses

Glasses not only help people improve vision, but they can protect against eye fatigue caused by artificial light sources like screens. Anti-reflective lenses manipulate incoming light and block out glare for optimal vision, helping protect your eyes from damage over time. Glasses Direct offers blue light glasses, which reduce glare and filter blue-violet light. These lenses help alleviate symptoms of computer vision syndrome, which is the eye strain caused by prolonged exposure to digital light. If you spend long hours in front of a computer or phone, these special lenses can prevent eye fatigue and the impact of screens on your vision.

Follow the 20/20/20 rule

Using your computer or phone for work or school means you’ll likely get absorbed in your task for hours. You may not realise that you haven’t taken a break and your eyes are fatigued. One simple thing you can do to relieve your eyes of strain is to follow the 20/20/20 rule. After 20 minutes of screen time, take a break for 20 seconds and stare at a target 20 feet away. It takes energy to keep your eyes focused on what you’re looking at on a screen, so the 20/20/20 rule gives them a much-needed break. This rule also promotes blinking, which you do less of when looking at a screen. Research published in the Contact Lens and Anterior Eye Journal found that the 20/20/20 rule helped people with digital eye strain decrease dryness, sensitivity, and pain after a few weeks. Taking a short break can make all the difference in protecting your eyes from too much screen time.

Try artificial tears

Dryness is one of the most common symptoms of digital eye strain. You blink less when staring at a screen, which contributes to fatigue. Eyedrops or artificial tears can help lubricate the eye to prevent dry eye symptoms. Some of these products have been designed specifically to address and provide long-lasting relief for those who spend a lot of time in front of a screen. Eyedrops like those from Rotho have a cooling effect that can help soothe the eyes and relieve them from strain. These also manage dryness and redness with unique technology that restores and retains moisture for up to eight or twelve hours. A drop in both eyes can increase your comfort and prevent digital eye strain from getting in the way of work or hobbies.

Reducing your time spent in front of a computer, tablet, or phone can be challenging, especially when using technology for essential tasks. However, it helps to know the best practices to care for your eye health. Using the right tools and taking enough breaks can help keep your eyes protected from the effects of too much screen time.

Oliver Molitor is a freelance health writer. He writes about health and wellness in the modern world and how our lifestyles can affect us in many ways. He is particularly concerned about our relationship with digital devices. In his free time he likes to hike.

Oliver Molitor


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