Depending on the types of jobs they have, some employees spend nearly the entire workday in front of the computer. And odds are that during lunch and other quick breaks, they are on their smartphone or tablet catching up on texts and Facebook feeds, playing games or surfing the internet. All this time in front of digital screens can cause what is known as digital eye strain.
According to the American Optometric Association’s American Eye-Q® survey completed last year, 58 percent of adults surveyed said they experienced digital eye strain as a result of time spent on a computer. Symptoms of digital eye strain can range from tired, itchy eyes to headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and head and shoulder strain.
While digital eye strain is most often not a worrisome condition, it does impact eye wellness and workplace productivity. Help preserve your eye health with these “5 Steps to Relieve Digital Eye Strain at Work,” provided by the American Optometric Association. The tips can also be found here.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule.
Take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
Keep a distance.
Sit at a comfortable distance from the computer monitor where you can easily read all text with your head and torso in an upright position and your back supported by your chair. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 28 inches from the eye to the front surface of the screen.
View from a different angle.
Ideally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees, or about 4 to 5 inches, below eye level as measured from the center of the screen.
While there is no way to completely minimize glare from light sources, consider using a glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
Minimize your chances of developing dry eyes when using a computer by making an effort to blink frequently.
If you’re suffering from digital eye strain, be sure to share that information with your doctor during your yearly, comprehensive eye examination. He or she can share additional information and ensure there aren’t any other underlying conditions.