Students and parents alike will most likely spend increased hours on computers and digital devices this coming fall. Increased screen time has been shown to exacerbate eyestrain, discomfort, and dry eyes.
Here are five visual hygiene tips to decrease symptoms related to increased use of computers and digital devices:
1. 20/20/20 Rule
Look at something 20 feet away from your computer screen and near work every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
2. Blinking and Use of Artificial Tears
Screen time has been shown to drastically decrease our blink rate. Remember to blink and use artificial tears as needed throughout the day to help decrease dry eye symptoms, such as burning, stinging, and grittiness.
3. Proper Posture
Ensure proper posture while using the computer or any digital device. Take breaks to stretch and straighten your posture to promote proper breathing and peripheral awareness. When possible, use a slant board to complete any desk work to help aid proper working distance from the page and to encourage good posture.
4. Proper Workspace
A computer should be kept about an arms distance away from you, ideally about four inches below eye level. When possible, reduce glare and reflections on your screen.
5. Digital Devices, Like Smartphones and Handheld Games
Avoid using digital devices within one hour of bedtime because they can disrupt your natural and healthy sleep cycle.