Amidst the holiday frenzy, you’ve been spending hours in front of your computer screen trying to nab the perfect deals on the hottest holiday gifts. While gazing at your computer screen, smartphone, or other digital devices for long periods won’t cause permanent eye damage, it may make your eyes may feel dry and tired. But what causes computer eyestrain? Normally, we blink about 18 times a minute, but studies show we blink half that often while using computers and other digital screen devices.
Here are a few tips to help reduce eyestrain:
- Sit about 25 inches from the computer screen and position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
- Reduce glare from the screen by lighting the area properly; use a screen filter if needed.
- Post a note that says “Blink!” on the computer as a reminder.
- Remember the “20-20-20 rule:” Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
- Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
- Take regular breaks from computer work, and try to get enough sleep at night.
Some people also experience headaches or motion sickness when looking at a screen for a long period, which may indicate a problem with focusing or depth perception. Schedule an appointment with your ilumin ophthalmologist for a routine eye exam and more information on digital eyestrain.