Staring At A Screen Often? How To Save Your Eyes

Even prior to the pandemic, we were all spending long hours at our desks staring at a laptop or computer. Then we would come home and work some more or use our smartphones to browse social media. Since COVID-19 screen times have increased among people in the US, let’s learn how to save your eyes.

The Effects Of Too Much Screen Time

Upset boy with smartphone indoors

Our eyes are wonderful magical organs that can accommodate and focus our vision from near to far. When we stare at a screen 14 inches away for hours on end, our eye muscles become fatigued. That’s just the start of our problems.

Eye Fatigue

Eye strain and fatigue can cause achy tired eyes, trouble keeping your eyes open, blurred vision, itching and burning eyes, difficulty concentrating, and headaches.

When most of us worked in an office, we moved around, talked with others, and were continuously changing our focus. Now while working from home, we meet and talk with everyone, from coworkers to relatives, virtually. That probably isn’t going to change much in the near future.

Dry Eyes

Riveted to a screen with sustained concentration reduces the number of blink times. We normally blink about 15 to 20 times per minute, but while sitting in front of a screen, blinking can be significantly reduced.

Our eyes need tear film to stay healthy. Blinking increases our tears and lubricates our eyes. When our blinking is reduced and our tears evaporate, the result is blurred vision with dry, scratchy, red, and irritated eyes. This seems to affect women more so than men or children.

Remedies For Dry Eyes And Eye Fatigue

If you can even remotely relate to the above problems, try some of these easy remedies:

  • Take a break every 30 minutes. Get up from your workstation or home office and get a snack, drink of water, or just move around.
  • If that is too difficult to do, try the 20,20,20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look out at least 20 feet and focus on something for 20 seconds before returning your eyes to your screen. This will relax your eyes and increase some blinking.
  • Increase the text size on your device.
  • Reduce overhead lighting to minimize screen glare.
  • Keep artificial tears at the ready. Find some ointments for night time.
  • Keep water by your desk and stay hydrated.
  • Lastly, ask Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates in Newtown Square, PA if you have the proper prescription eyeglasses to work many hours looking at a screen.

Schedule an Eye Exam in Newton Square, PA

Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates offers comprehensive eye exams for children and adults in Newton Square, PA. Contact our office at (610) 347-7672 for an eye examination, especially if your dry eyes are not relieved with over-the-counter moisture drops.