Staying in lockdown at home during the pandemic has forced many of us to spend even more time glued to our tech devices. With hours of video conferencing for work, conducting school lessons with the kids or even binge-watching shows after a long workday, it places a lot of strain on our eyes. And the reality is our screen time is only likely to increase as we continue to move forward. That’s why it’s imperative to adopt certain habits now to minimize the potentially adverse effects that this can have on our eye health. If your eyes have been feeling extra tired, blurry and irritated lately, here are a few tips to protect your eyes from screen time.
It may sound simple, but when we’re staring at our screens for a long time, we often forget to blink. This naturally happens when we look at things that are brighter. Without blinking as much, our eyes end up drying out, causing them to feel itchy and irritated. A simple solution is to blink more frequently and to blink completely. This will help to lubricate the eyes and reduce irritation.
Adjust Your Screen to Minimize Glare and Blue Light
As mentioned above, the brightness of the screen reduces our natural blinking response. This is also due to the fact that the eyes have to focus more when looking at brightly lit objects. You can reduce this by adjusting your screen so it’s easier on your eyes. We recommend lowering the brightness level so it’s just slightly brighter than your surrounding environment. And if there’s a noticeable glare that’s been aggravating your eyes, get a matte screen filter to minimize this.
Give Your Eyes Regular Breaks
Your eyes need regular breaks just like everything else. You can set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to step away from the screen and give your eyes something else to focus on. Follow the 20-20-20 habit to strengthen more of the eye muscles by looking at something that’s approximately 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Do this every 20 minutes.
Take Advantage of Artificial Tears
If you find that your eyes are really drying out during the day, take advantage of artificial tears. You can talk to your eye doctor for recommendations. There are also plenty of options available at your local drugstore that can help to relieve dryness.
Check Humidity Levels
Low humidity levels and sharp drafts caused by air conditioning or a fan can also impact your eye health and comfort. So make sure to check the humidity level in your home or workplace and adjust it, and minimize sharp drafts caused by your air conditioning or fans.
Set Up Your Work Station Correctly
Even the position of your screen can cause potential eye problems. To set it up correctly, make sure you are positioned about 20 to 30 inches away from the screen. When looking at it, your eyes ideally should be at the same level as the top of the screen. Also, don’t forget to clean your computer screen regularly to get rid of spots, fingerprints and dust. Looking at a clean screen is always easier on the eyes.
Get a Blue Light Filter/Treatment for Your Lenses
As previously discussed, you can alter your computer screen or get a matte filter to minimize blue light exposure. Similarly, you can get a treatment for your glasses for additional protection. Something as simple as a blue light filter/treatment for your lenses can make a large difference in providing relief from eye strain. During the month of April, we are including a blue light filter in your lenses for no additional cost.
If you’re experiencing persistent eye irritation, don’t ignore it. There are often simple solutions that can drastically improve your comfort and eye health. If you’re concerned or want to learn more about how to protect your eyes from screen time, book an eye examination with us at Laurier Optical today.