How to Protect Your Eyes While Working in Front of Screens


2024-06-25 12:57 p.m.
Person working on a computer screen

Spending long hours in front of screens has become a part of our daily lives. While this is convenient, it can also lead to screen fatigue, causing eye strain and psychological stress.

Symptoms of Screen Fatigue

Common symptoms of screen fatigue include dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and even neck and back pain. Ignoring these symptoms can make day-to-day life uncomfortable.

Tips to Tackle Screen Fatigue

  • Give your eyes regular breaks by following the 20-20-20 rule. This means every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This simple practice helps your eyes relax and reduces strain.
  • Reduce your overall screen time when possible. For example, take notes on paper instead of using a laptop, or listen to audio during meetings instead of watching the screen. Watching TV from a distance is also better than using smaller devices up close.
  • Blink more often to keep your eyes moist. We tend to blink less when looking at screens, which can dry out our eyes. Over-the-counter eye drops can also help keep your eyes lubricated.
  • Consider using blue light filters. Blue light from screens can contribute to eye strain. Blue light filtering glasses or screen protectors can help reduce discomfort and improve your overall productivity. They also help you sleep better by reducing blue light exposure in the evening.
  • If you use contact lenses, consider switching between glasses and contact lenses every other day to relieve your eyes.
  • Regular eye exams are essential. An optometrist can detect early signs of issues and recommend lenses or drops suited to your needs. This is crucial for maintaining healthy vision, especially if you spend a lot of time in front of screens.

Adjust Your Workspace

Making changes to your workspace can also help. Position your screen so it's at or just below eye level to avoid straining your neck. Ensure your workspace is well-lit but not overly bright to minimize glare.

Staying hydrated is another simple yet effective way to combat screen fatigue. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your eyes and body hydrated, reducing dryness and discomfort.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you continue to experience symptoms despite making these adjustments, it may be time to consult an eye care professional. They can offer tailored advice and treatment options to help alleviate your discomfort.

References

  1. WebMD, Dry eyes in office
  2. ACAP, Screen fatigue and how to fight it
  3. AOA, Computer vision syndrome