Protecting Your Eyes from Screen Exposure

In today's screen-filled world, eye strain is a common woe. Our eyes blink less while focusing on screens, leading to dryness and discomfort. To protect your eyes from screen exposure, consider these tips: maintain a comfortable distance from your screen, combat dryness with artificial tears and humidity, reduce glare with anti-glare filters and anti-reflective coatings, optimize lighting, use high-resolution screens, follow the 20-20-20 rule, limit nighttime screen time to curb blue light exposure, invest in blue light glasses, boost macular pigment with supplements, and schedule regular eye exams. Prioritize your eye health for lasting screen comfort.
worker on laptop in dim room

Today’s adults ingest information at a rate fivefold greater than what was common half a century ago, dedicating roughly 10 hours and 39 minutes staring at screens daily to screen time. Eye strain, often due to prolonged drives or extensive computer use, manifests when the eyes become weary from sustained activity. Notably, Digital Eye Strain (DES) affects approximately half of all computer users. Fortunately, numerous strategies exist to alleviate eye strain associated with mobile and computer usage. Continue reading to discover essential advice on safeguarding your eyes against the effects of screen exposure.

Symptoms of Eye Strain

Typically, a person blinks 15 to 20 times per minute, but screen gazing significantly reduces this rate, leading to dry and strained eyes. Research indicates that screen time cuts the blink rate by up to 50%. The American Optometric Association highlights symptoms of eye strain, including headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and sometimes even neck and shoulder pain. Although most symptoms ease with a break from screens, adopting measures to enhance comfort during daily activities is crucial.

Strategies for Minimizing Screen-Induced Eye Strain

Implementing simple changes can significantly alleviate eye strain from prolonged phone and computer use. Here are ten valuable tips for eye protection against screen exposure.

Maintain Proper Distance

Adopting an ergonomic setup can ward off eye strain. Position your computer screen about an arm’s length away and slightly below eye level to maintain a comfortable viewing angle.

Combat Dry Eyes

Less frequent blinking leads to dry eyes. Utilizing preservative-free artificial tear drops can offer relief. Consider a desktop humidifier to maintain moisture during dry seasons or in heated rooms. Avoid places with strong air currents to prevent rapid eye moisture loss.

Minimize Glare

Screen glare impedes your eyes’ ability to adjust and focus, leading to strain. An anti-glare screen filter can significantly reduce glare, and for glasses wearers, anti-reflective coatings on lenses can further diminish glare from both inside and outside.

Optimize Lighting

A well-lit workspace can protect against eye strain. Dimmer lighting is preferable when working on a computer to reduce glare and strain. Adjust your room’s lighting to be about half as bright as typical office lighting, and ensure your screen’s brightness matches the ambient light in your room.

Choose High-Resolution Screens

Modern devices typically feature refresh rates 75Hz or higher, minimizing flickering and easing eye strain. Regular maintenance ensures optimal device performance. High-resolution screens also reduce the effort your eyes need to process images.

Take Regular Breaks

Frequent breaks from screen time are essential. The 20-20-20 rule suggests taking a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes of screen time. Longer breaks are beneficial and provide an excellent opportunity to stretch and move.

Limit Evening Screen Use

Blue light from screens can disrupt sleep patterns by affecting the circadian rhythm. Limit screen use 1 to 2 hours before bedtime and utilize nighttime settings on devices to reduce blue light exposure, shifting the screen’s color temperature towards the red spectrum.

Use Blue Light Protection

Extended exposure to blue light could harm the eyes. Investing in blue light filtering glasses or adding a blue light filter to prescription lenses can help mitigate this risk.

Enhance Macular Pigment

The macula’s health, crucial for filtering blue light, can be bolstered with supplements rich in carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin, available at drugstores.

Regular Eye Check-ups

Persistent eye strain symptoms might indicate a deeper issue. Regular eye examinations can help maintain optimal eye health and address concerns early on. If symptoms like dryness or pain persist, consult an eye doctor promptly.

Preventing screen-related eye strain is more about proactive measures than reactive treatments. Begin implementing these strategies today for healthier eyes.

How Work Health Solutions Can Support You

Work Health Solutions specializes in providing comprehensive healthcare services to meet various medical needs. Our team, experienced in collaborating with diverse organizations, is committed to delivering exceptional care. Contact us for further information on how we can assist you with your healthcare requirements.

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
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Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
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Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
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Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

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  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
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Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
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