Whether we’re working at a computer by day or staring at our phone screens by night, we are getting a whole lot of screen time. Unfortunately, our screen time—whether by necessity or habit—can result in eye strain and eye injury over time. Protecting your eyes from computer time is essential. That’s why it’s important to take steps to preserve your eyesight as much as possible.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Keep Your Distance
When working at a computer, sit at least an arm’s length away from your screen. If you can place your hand on your computer screen, you’re too close.
Look Slightly Down
Place your computer screen so that your gaze is downward at a 15–20% angle. The top of your computer monitor should be at or just below eye level. This eye position keeps more of your eyeball covered by the eyelid; therefore, it stays more moisturized.
Keep Materials Close at Hand
If you are working with a book, printed paper or other reference materials, be sure to keep your documents between the keyboard and the computer screen. This strategy will prevent your eyes from continually readjusting and refocusing to reduce eye fatigue.
Use the 20/20/20 Rule
Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer for 20 seconds at a distance about 20 feet away. This allows your eyes to blink naturally and stay moisturized as well.
Adjust Your Lighting
Adjust the brightness of your screen so that it’s not too light or too dim. You’ll save your eyes a lot of strain by keeping your screen light at a comfortable level.
Bright lightbulbs, sunlight, and dusty screens can increase the amount of light reflected into your eyes. Always keep your computer screen clean, switch to lower wattage bulbs, and shield your computer from morning or afternoon sun.
Every two hours, step away from your computer and walk around. Take a bathroom or snack break or find another reason to get up. Your eyes—and your body—will thank you.
Reduce Blue Light
Manufacturers make computer screen glasses as well as computer screen attachments that reduce the blue light and screen glare emitted by computers. Purchasing one of these accessories is a small investment that could save your eyesight down the road.
If you are experiencing any signs of eye strain or body strain, stop working and take a break. Some strain symptoms include headaches, eye strain, blurry vision, dark or discolored eyes, and neck and shoulder pain.
Visit Your Optometrist
Plan to schedule a visit with your optometrist every year. (Some patients may want to visit every 6 months.) Your optometrist will be able to catch any conditions before they lead to a chronic health issue. And he/she can suggest ways to preserve your eyesight the best ways possible.
P.S. You can use many of these same strategies when protecting your eyes from phone time as well.
Have Questions About Your Vision and Computer or Phone Use?
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