8 Tips to Combat Digital Eye Strain

8 Tips to Combat Digital Eye Strain

December 28th, 2023

Digital devices are an inescapable part of modern life. Most people spend time every day using a phone, tablet, computer, or gaming device. 

While these devices are useful and entertaining, too many hours of screen time can lead to digital eye strain. Eye strain can cause headaches, dry eyes, or other symptoms. 

You can minimize the effects of digital eye strain with a few simple changes. 

What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, sometimes called computer vision syndrome, occurs when your eyes get overworked from looking at screens for too long. Reading from screens can make the eyes work harder than reading on paper. 

This causes noticeable fatigue and eye strain, along with other symptoms such as: 

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Red, dry, or irritated eyes
  • Tired, aching, or heavy eyelids
  • Muscle spasms of the eye or eyelid

Eight Tips to Combat Digital Eye Strain

Reducing digital eye strain will make your eyes feel better and reduce the symptoms that come from too much screen time. 

1. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Eye doctors recommend taking regular breaks from looking at screens. An easy guideline to follow is the 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds. 

You can also stand up and stretch during these breaks to reduce muscle pain or stiffness from sitting still. 

2. Adjust Screen Brightness and Contrast

Change the settings on your screen to make the brightness and contrast easier on your eyes. When possible, try to make your screen no brighter than other objects in the room with you.

3. Increase Text Size

Increasing the font size or zooming in on reading materials can make text easier to see. Your eyes won’t have to work as hard to focus on the larger text, reducing strain. 

4. Raise Your Screen

Place your screen at eye level or just below eye level. In addition, make sure your screen is directly in front of you, not off to one side. This allows your eyes to focus directly on your screen instead of looking from an angle. 

It may make it easier to read without straining.  

5. Minimize Glare

Adjust the lighting in your workspace to reduce glare on the screen. You can add an anti-glare filter to your computer screen, which can take some of the strain off your eyes.

You can also get non-prescription glasses that reduce glare or filter the blue light from screens. 

6. Blink Frequently

Researchers have learned that people blink less frequently when they’re looking at computer screens. Blinking refreshes eyes and keeps delicate surfaces from getting dry and irritated. 

Try to blink more often when you are working to protect your eyes.  

7. Use Artificial Tear Eye Drops

If frequent blinking doesn’t prevent dryness and irritation, try using artificial tears or rewetting drops. These gentle eye drops will soothe and lubricate your eyes. 

Your eye doctor can recommend the right kind of eye drops to use if you wear contact lenses.

8. See an Eye Doctor

Uncorrected vision problems can make eye strain worse. If you find that taking preventative steps isn’t reducing digital eye strain, you may have a vision issue such as farsightedness, astigmatism, or age-related vision changes like presbyopia. 

An eye doctor can test your visual acuity and prescribe glasses or contacts to correct any vision changes. 

Do you have questions about digital eye strain or concerns about your vision? Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, today!