Whether you are working from home, the workplace, part-time, full-time, we are spending a great deal of time in front of digital screens!
In fact, it has been estimated that we spend about seven hours per day in front of our digital screens. Concentrating on our computer screens at work, glued to our smartphones during lunch breaks, watching tv at home, this equates to a large chunk of our life straining our vision.
Not only has research demonstrated the body and brain altering effects from our screens, it also produces tremendous discomfort, such as blurred vision, eye strain and persistent headaches.
We can directly contribute these negative symptoms to the Blue Light Exposure shining in our screens. As technology continues to advance and progress our lives, it is unlikely that digital screens are going anywhere. And considering how much work you do in front of your computer or mobile device, it might seem like there is nothing you can do about it. But this is not the case!
Our step-by-step guide will show you how to fight screen fatigue with a wide variety of measures.
- Adjust Your Technology Settings
When you go to pick up your phone or turn on your computer, remember that there are a few modifications you can make in your settings to dramatically reduce the strain impact on your eyes. Here are a few simple yet effective adjustments you can make now:
- Monitor position: Keep your computer monitor at least 20 to 30 inches away from your face and keep your eyes level with the top of the screen.
- Brightness. Adjust the brightness of your screen to complement the brightness of your surroundings. If the room is dark and your screen is acting as a light, turn it down. On the other hand If it’s difficult to read, increase the brightness.
- Temperature. Adjust the screen temperature to be warmer (yellow) in dark rooms and cooler (bluer) in bright areas. You can even set your phone and computer for “night mode” so at sunset, it automatically shifts from blue to yellow.
- Use proper natural and artificial lighting
Now that we have solved the issue of the screen lighting itself, let’s talk about your surrounding light. One of the most effective ways to decrease monitor eyestrain is by using proper lighting. Whether you are working on your computer on the job or watching an episode of your favorite tv series, there should be an appropriate level of lighting!
Here are some other light-related tips:
- Place an adjustable desk lamp next to your computer.
- Close out exterior lighting by closing blinds or shades.
- Turn off overhead lighting if you can
- Position your computer screen by the side of your windows as opposed to in front of
- Protect yourself from blue light
If blue light comes from every type of digital screen, how can you shield your eyes from it?
Answer: blue light glasses or a blue light protector!
Too much blue light from screens is actually making it harder to sleep when it’s time to go to bed. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable blue light glasses that support your eyes, to help you in the short term!
There are dozens of brands and options on the market, so do your research on the best one for you.
- Give your eyes a break
While it might seem simple, giving your eyes a break is one of the best things you can do for your eyesight. To help reduce the strain on your eyes from digital screens, Ophthalmologists have developed the 20-20-20 rule. If you don’t already have an eye routine established, we highly advise that you incorporate the 20-20-20 rule into your daily routine.
Every 20 minutes, direct your eyes away from the screen and focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. When you are hard at work, studying, or playing video games, it can be difficult to remember this strategy. Consider placing a post-it note reminder on your desk or turning on your phone alarm to let you know when it has been 20 minutes.
- Blink Frequently
On estimate, we blink anywhere between 10 and 20 times per minute. Blinking is a vital body response to combat dry eyes, yet unfortunately, you may actually be blinking less when staring at a screen.
This is bad news for your eyes. The solution here is to try to blink more, and again, set automatic reminders or utilizing post it notes to remind you.
To cut down on the effects of screen fatigue on your body and eyes, consider these additional suggestions:
Heighten your awareness around blinking enough so you can focus on blinking more.
Take a vision break, following the 20-20-20 rule or a screen break for at least 15 minutes.
6. Use eye drops
If you do run into the situation of dry eyes, reduce your screen exposure and use over the counter eye drops to lubricate your eyes.
Also known as artificial tears, this product can ensure that your eyes avoid dryness, itchiness, and tiredness.
While screen fatigue can be addressed through simple daily adjustments, it may be possible that you need the support of an eye professional. An eye exam will give your optometrist a chance to suggest any necessary glasses or contact lenses for specific, screen related eyestrain.
If you wish to keep your eyes in good shape, be sure to visit your local optometrist each year to ensure everything is in healthy shape.
To help your eyes in the longer run, it’s best that you start creating essential boundaries with your phone and other digital screens in your life. For example, consider placing your phone away from your bed before going to sleep and try to not check it right when you wake up.
Throughout your day, take numerous screen breaks and ensure that you set regular reminders to maintain continuity. Because digital screens have recently become a part of our lives, we are only now learning about the short and long term effects of excessive screen time.
By implementing these tips into your daily life, you can ensure that your eyes remain in good shape, even if you’re staring at a screen for most of your day.
Do you have any other tips to reduce screen fatigue? Share them with us in the comments section below!