elaine / Jun 05

How to prevent digital eye strain

elaine / Jun 05

Headaches? Eye strain? Trouble sleeping? Digital eye strain can be uncomfortable and affect your work and wellness. There are several causes of asthenopia, or eye strain, unrelated to underlying disease. The cause of this is attributed to the overuse of digital devices that emit blue light, prolonged driving, bad eyeglasses prescriptions, extreme fatigue, or lack of sleep.

Blue light is produced by common devices such as televisions, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Your 8-hour workday in addition to a few hours of video gaming or Netflix, plus a couple of hours of scrolling through social media, is a lot of time exposing your eyes to blue light. This isn’t inherently harmful though, but with overuse, it can cause discomfort such as headaches, eye strain, and difficulty sleeping. 

Eye strain symptoms include:

Tips for eye strain relief

Overuse of devices can cause eye strain, make it more difficult to sleep, and cause eye strain headaches or migraines. Reducing your usage of digital devices will be a surefire way to reduce eye fatigue and eye strain, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. We know! So if you can’t take a digital detox, try these tips for eye strain relief. 

Blink often

Many people blink less frequently when working on the computer. Blinking helps the production of tears to prevent dry eyes. Remember to blink often when working on a computer or other screens to refresh your eyes. 

The 20-20-20 Rule 

Think of this as taking a break to reset your eyes. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet (6 meters) away from your screen for at least 20 seconds. 

Calibrate your display settings

In most modern devices, you might have the ability to set a “night mode” that will adjust your screen to warmer tones at night to reduce blue light emission. The warmer tones that reduce blue light may help you sleep better as blue light interrupts your circadian rhythm as you may have learned from a previous article on how to sleep better. You should also reduce brightness on your screen according to the amount of light around you. As it gets darker, reduce the brightness on your screen to reduce strain. 

Reduce glare

A bright light bouncing off the screen or sunlight shining in from a window can cause glare on any screen. You can lower the brightness on your screen, draw the shades, or change the position of your screen to reduce eye strain.  

Blue-light blocking glasses

These are special glasses that block blue light from your eyes. To note, the general overuse of devices won’t be remedied by using blue light blocking glasses alone. Refer to the previous steps as well to improve your overall comfort when using your gadgets at home.