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Is Too Much Screen Time Causing Eye Strain?

Woman suffering from dry eyes

In today’s society, it is becoming harder and harder to avoid computer screens. They are necessary for work, provide easy entertainment, and they are easy to carry in your pocket.

While this technology has done a lot of good for our way of life, like anything, too much of a good thing can be hurtful. Keep reading to find out if too much screen time could be causing eye strain!

Computer Vision Syndrome

Prolonged use of screens can result in an effect known as computer vision syndrome. The longer you spend looking at screens, the worse the symptoms become.

These include eye strain, headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, and pain in the neck/shoulder area. These symptoms can cause discomfort but are generally temporary.

But some report that their symptoms continue well after their screen use. It may even affect distance vision if the core of the issue is not addressed.

The specific reasons for what causes this syndrome include:

  • Poor lighting, which causes your eyes to have to work harder to achieve a simple task.
  • Glare from the screens being used.
  • Lower contrast of letters on the screen (compared to physical paper print).
  • Not sitting at the correct distance from your screen, which can cause muscles in your eyes to become adjusted incorrectly.
  • Bad posture while seated, which stiffens muscles.
  • Other vision problems that have not been addressed. Scheduling a visit with Georgia Eye Associates can help!

The 20/20/20 Rule and Other Screen Use Tips

Since screen use is unavoidable and is only getting longer, you may need to get a little creative. It’s possible to keep your eyes healthy while continuing to use digital devices.

The easiest rule to remember to fix a lot of screen use issues is the 20/20/20 rule. The process goes like this: Every 20 minutes look away from your screen for 20 seconds at a point about 20 feet away.

This will remind your brain to blink, allowing your eyes to rehydrate. Blinking is an essential part of what keeps your eyes from getting too dry.

It will also give your eye a much-needed rest from the glare of the screen. The distant point is equally important, as it will stretch out the fatigued muscles in your eyes. After two hours of use, take a longer break of about 15 minutes, if you are able.

During your 20-minute intermittent screen sessions, use good computer techniques. Place your screen at least 20 inches away from your face, about 20 degrees below.

20 is the magic number to remember! Consider placing other materials that you need to reference while you work between your keyboard and monitor.

This will make you have to move your head less as you work. Position your screen to reduce glare and so interior light won’t impede your vision.

You may also want to consider purchasing a screen glare filter. Try to get in the habit of reminding yourself to blink while you are at your computer.

Still, having vision problems? Sign up for an appointment at Georgia Eye Associates in Atlanta, GA now!

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