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Smartphones. Tablets. Laptops. With all of the technology available on the market today, it may seem impossible to avoid the negative effects of digital eyestrain. Whether you are behind a computer screen all day at work or an active social media user, there are dozens of reasons to continuously use digital products.
For those who use computers at work, digital eyestrain symptoms occur in approximately 50-90% of workers. For those who use computers for personal reasons, symptoms occur in between 40-60% of people. These symptoms include eyestrain, redness, irritation or dry eyes. You may also experience burning eyes, double or blurred vision, headaches and neck or shoulder pain.
Considering the prevalence of the problem, it is important to have tools and techniques handy to fight your symptoms. Implementing some of the following tips can help you alleviate the nagging symptoms of digital eyestrain.
1. Keep your monitor bright
When the screen display on your smartphone, tablet or any other digital device you’re using is bright, it reduces the flicker rate of the screen to help reduce fatigue. This flickering is one of the major causes of eyestrain and related headaches. With a bright monitor, your pupils constrict, resulting in a greater range of focus. Your eyes will feel less need to accommodate and enable you to work longer in a more comfortable state.
2. Check the monitor position
On computers, the position of the monitor is directly related to the severity of your eyestrain. Optimally, the computer screen should be 15-20 degrees below eye level and at a distance of 20-28 inches from your eyes. At this position, you can help ward off any symptoms of strain before they start to creep up on you.
3. Take a break
Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away. It works as a type of “reset” for your eyes to refocus and adjust themselves to something other than the bright screen in front of your face.
4. Blink often
Staring into a bright light often causes people to forget about blinking. As a function of the eye, blinking is extremely important to help maintain moisture and prevent dry eyes, redness and irritation. It may seem like a simple solution, but remembering to blink can go a long way in reducing your digital eyestrain symptoms.
5. Schedule an eye examination
Among those who report symptoms of digital eyestrain, more than 70% wear glasses or contact lenses. An eye exam can help ensure that you are wearing the right prescription and not adding more stress into the equation. In addition, Mr. Golchin can help with an even more personalized set of suggestions depending on the specific symptoms that you are experiencing.