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A new survey from revealed that Americans’ already high screen time habits are one the rise as many are adhering to stay-at-home orders.

Certainly, “screen time” will continue to be a part of our daily lives, and these devices have provided many benefits to us all.

However, overuse or failing to implement some easy steps can have a negative impact on our eyes through digital eye strain.

Some of the symptoms of digital eye strain include sore, burning, or itching eyes, watery or dry eyes, blurred/double vision, headaches, increased sensitivity to light, and difficulty concentrating.

Here are some ways to prevent digital eye strain.

  1. Use proper lighting: My mother always told me ambient lighting can change everything and she was right, including eye strain! Excessive bright light and having your computer monitor situated against a window can dry out your eyes. Switch over head lighting for softly lit lamps or shaded light.
  2. Adjust glare and display settings: Speaking of bright lighting, this can also cause glare which will strain your eyes. You can use a glare filter on your computer to reduce it. Adjusting the brightness, text size and contrast, and color temperatures will be beneficial, and settings such as night mode reduce the amount of blue light emitted.
  3. Your set up: Believe it or not, posture contributes to eye strain as well. Your monitor should be slightly below eye level and roughly 24 inches away.  Looking slightly down instead of up at a monitor keeps your eyes from drying out as often.
  4. Just blink: When you are focusing intensely, you tend to blink less without realizing. This can cause your eyes to dry or water. Try to make a conscious effort to keep blinking to refresh your eyes. Artificial tears can help as well to moisten; but talk to a doctor before use.
  5. Have you heard of eye exercises? 20 seems to be the magic vision number so here is an exercise you can do called the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and focus on an item 20 feet away. This will help your eyes take a rest and not become overworked.
  6. Take a break: Breaks are often the simplest solve for many things including digital eye strain. If you’re feeling sore, dry eyed, and have an inkling of an oncoming headache, just take a break from your screen. Whether you lie down, take a walk, look at the food in your pantry for 10 minutes, it will do your eyes a favor setting the screen aside for a moment.


See the article mentioned above on how lock down has changed screen habits here. Digital technologies have surely made our lives easier, given us access to information we could never grasp before, and changed multiple aspects of how we conduct business.  However, don’t forget to be mindful of the effects it can have on your eyes.


Have questions about digital eye strain and screen tech? Drop us a line