As you read this article, you’re looking at a digital screen. Shortly after, you may check your email, complete some work-related tasks, see how many likes you got on your Instagram post, and then maybe you check the weather. All of this is done on this screen (or other screens).
In this new era of living, we find ourselves looking at digital screens throughout much of the day and you may find yourself wondering: “How do I protect my eyes while looking at a computer screen?”
At Visibly, a digital eye care technology company, we care about your eye health, and we have numerous tips for how to beat screen fatigue and reduce your digital eye strain.
1. Ensure that your prescription is up-to-date
Whether you wear contact lenses or glasses, it’s important to renew your vision prescription on time every year so that you can keep seeing visibly. Vision health is extremely important, and an updated prescription will help prevent eye strain and screen fatigue.
Dr. Christopher O’Brien, an Ophthalmologist within Visibly’s Optimized Eye Care doctor’s network, recommends having your eyes checked annually, even if you are not noticing any changes in your sight. “Maintaining a high level of eye health not only protects your eyes but also your body as a whole,” says Dr. O’Brien.
2. Follow the 20–20–20 rule
Every 20 minutes, gaze at something 20 feet from you for about 20 secondsto give your eyes a little rest. Our eyes experience strain when we look at our computers, TVs, and smartphones for too long and this little trick helps to change up your routine.
3. Blink (a lot)
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, humans typically blink around 15 times per minute. Studies have shown that when looking at digital devices, our eyes only blink 5–7 times per minute.
Simply blinking adds moisture to the surface of your eyes and prevents them from drying out. This simple method can dramatically reduce eye strain.
4. Replace your contact lenses on time
Raise your hand if you’ve ever…
- Accidentally kept your contact lenses in overnight
- Realized you’re almost out of your contacts and used those “daily” lenses for a few more days than what the fine print says
- Touched your contact lenses with unwashed fingers
We can all agree that we have pushed the envelope one or two times on how we use and wear our contact lenses. However, today is the day we agree to stop.
“Wearing your contact lenses longer than you’re supposed to can have serious health implications on your eyes. An expired lens can be harmful to the eye before it feels worn out,” says Dr. O’Brien. “Any signs of burning, dryness, or less than optimal vision may be your indicator that your lenses need to be replaced,” he adds.
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5. Implement “Night Mode” on your devices
Night mode is a feature that alters the look of your digital device to appear darker and less bright, which helps reduce stress on your eyes. Not only does this feature help your eyes catch a break, but your circadian rhythm (also known as your sleep-wake cycle) is less affected by the blue light that your device is emitting.