Digital eye strain is a fact of life in the modern world, since much of our work, schooling, and even leisure time takes place online. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize this problem.
1. Update Your Prescription
Eye strain can be made worse if your vision prescription is out of date, so your first task is to schedule an appointment to have your eyes checked for any prescription changes. Even if you are sure your prescription is the same, it's still important to schedule an appointment. Many other vision conditions, including eye diseases like glaucoma, can cause symptoms similar to digital eye strain.
2. Wear Computer Glasses
There are now special glasses available that help minimize eye strain from the glare of the computer. These glasses are designed to filter out blue light, the most common cause of strain. You can have stand alone glasses, but there is also the option to have your prescription glasses fitted with blue filter lens. There are even contacts available that filter out blue light.
3. Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
This is a simple guideline to help minimize strain. For every 20 minutes you are looking at a screen, take a 20 second break to look at something at least 20 feet away. Blinking your eyes rapidly before doing this exercise will also help, since this can trigger the tear ducts and prevent eye strain related dry eye. Set a timer on your phone or computer, or use a simple kitchen timer, to remind you to take these vision breaks.
4. Adjust Your Screen
The placement of screen in regards to your eyes can reduce digital eye strain. Keep the screen at least a foot and a half from your face. Set the screen so that it is angled slightly upward toward you. Further, make sure there is no glare from overhead lights or a nearby window that could interfere with your vision when you are using the computer.
5. Treat Associated Issues
Eye strain can be made worse if you have associated vision problems that have been left untreated. Tracking issues, where the eyes don't move completely in tandem, are relatively common and make strain worse. Another example is convergence insufficiency, where the eyes focus on slightly different points. Your eye doctor can check for these problems and help correct them, thus reducing the amount of strain you experience in front of the computer.
Contact an eye doctor in your area if you are suffering from digital eye strain.