According to the American Optometric Association, two or more hours of continuous daily use of digital screens can cause computer vision syndrome (CVS).¹ Sustained viewing of screens can increase the likelihood of CVS and related symptoms, such as eye fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, itchy and tired eyes, and neck/shoulder pain. Review these tips to help minimize eye strain.
Let’s start with work habits
Reading, whether on a page or on a screen, can be hard work, and because of this, it is important to give your eyes a rest.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, change your gaze by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking into the distance helps your eyes to relax and gives them a break from prolonged near focus.
- Take “bright breaks.” Changing viewing conditions from light to dark can help your eyes to feel refreshed. One way to take a break from bright light at your desk is to gently cup your hands over your eyes to simulate a darker environment. After about 30 seconds, slowly remove your cupped hands.
- Avoid dry eyes. Avoid continuously staring at digital screens, as staring slows down eye blink rates, which can lead to dry eyes. Try to blink frequently while using a digital screen. If dry eye discomfort persists, seek medical advice about the use of eye drops.
- Walk away from your digital screen. Taking a brief walk, inside or outside, can help give your eyes a chance to refresh. Refocus near and far and, if possible, change the environment between light and dark.
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