March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and most jobs utilize digital devices in some way these days. According to the Vision Council, over 83% of Americans reported using digital devices for at least 2 hours every day, and about 82% of the country admit to using devices for more than 2 hours a day.
What Are the Implications of Daily Device Use?
Less than 30% of patients discuss their device usage with their eye care professionals, yet two-thirds of the country experience symptoms of digital eye strain. These symptoms include:
- Eye strain (32.6%)
- Blurred vision (22%)
- Dryness and irritation of the eyes (22.7%)
- Headache (21.4%)
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain (30.8%)
5 Tips to Avoid Digital Eye Strain
Set up the surroundings.
- Put the computer screen an arm’s length away and slightly below eye level.
- Lighting should match the brightness of the screen.
- Use an LCD monitor (they usually have an anti-reflective surface) or purchase an anti-reflective screen cover.
- Place the computer on a non-reflective surface (if possible).
- Use window treatments to control the amount of natural light shining on the screen.
Adjust the screen settings.
- Brightness should match the surrounding lighting.
- Text size and contrast should be easily readable.
- Color temperature can be adjusted to reduce the amount of “blue” color emitted from the screen.
Adjust screen-time behavior.
- Consciously blink more.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds).
- Take a 15-minute break every 2 hours.
Get regular eye exams.
- An eye exam can tell if the eye strain is from digital devices or the need for new prescription glasses.
- “Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma.” The Vision Council, 2016.
- “Problems & Conditions | Digital Eye Strain.” The Vision Council, The Vision Council, 2017, thevisioncouncil.org/content/digital-eye-strain.
- Heiting, Gary, and Larry K. Wan. “10 Tips for Computer Eye Strain Relief.” All About Vision, AAV Media, LLC., 12 Feb. 2018, allaboutvision.com/cvs/irritated.htm.
- Blahd, William. “Prevent Eyestrain From Digital Devices.” WebMD, WebMD, 3 Aug. 2017, www.webmd.com/eye-health/prevent-digital-eyestrain.