Excessive screen time – or working in an environment that’s too dark or otherwise not optimal – can put a strain on your eyes that could negatively affect your work or school performance. But digital technology is here to stay, so how do we adapt?
First, pay close attention to symptoms that could indicate dry eye or eye strain:
- Head tilting
- Eye rubbing
- Double vision
- Light sensitivity
- Straining to read
If long hours in a virtual workspace or classroom are part of your new reality, set up your home office to facilitate comfort and productivity and practice a few habits to help keep your eyes comfortable throughout the day. Here are our top four ways to do it:
- Keep lenses clean.
If you rely on glasses or contact lenses, it’s important to take care of your eyewear so they can do their job adequately. That means keeping eyeglasses clean and scratch-free and updating the prescription as vision changes.
Contact lens wearers need to be especially vigilant. Poor contact lens hygiene can result in contact lens intolerance or other conditions that cause irritation and blurry vision. Be sure to closely follow the contact lens manufacturer’s instructions for use, as well as your ophthalmologist’s advice.
- Light your way the right way.
Follow cues from your own eyes to find the right level of light for comfortable work. You should be able to clearly make out text and images on your screen(s) and on printed materials without too much glare. If you’re leaning in to read or squinting to block out bright lights, adjust the level up or down with a dimmer or a light bulb that produces softer illumination.
- Put on your blinker.
Blinking is necessary for sharp, healthy eyes: Every blink coats the surface of the eye with soothing tears and lubricating oils. However, studies have shown that we tend to blink much less when we’re focused on a screen like a computer monitor, television, smartphone or tablet computer.
You can train yourself to blink more by blinking along with things you encounter frequently during your day. For example, blink every time you read or type the letter “E” or with every text or email notification.
- Practice 20/20/20 vision.
The 20/20/20 rule is one of our favorite tips, mostly because it’s so easy to remember. Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off your work for 20 seconds to focus on things that are 20 feet away or more. This not only gives your eyes a break from a glowing screen, but also helps reinforce your efforts to blink more often.
- Consider vision correction, like Zeiss SMILE or SoftTouch LASIK.
We see many Detroit LASIK patients who reach out because they’re frustrated with the eye strain that comes from wearing glasses and staring at a computer screen all day. Additionally, many contact lens wearers report Contact Lens Intolerance (CLI), a painful condition that prevents them from wearing contacts for more than a couple of hours of computer work.
A laser vision correction procedure like Zeiss SMILE or SoftTouch LASIK may be able to offer visual relief in out digital world.
Eyes can change a lot as we age, and excessive screen time can accelerate those changes. Make another habit of scheduling your annual eye exam for the same time every year, so you can stay on top of changes that can affect your ability to do your best work.
Lake Lazer Eye Center offers up-front pricing, and convenient and affordable payment plans for SoftTouch LASIK and the Zeiss SMILE procedure. Dr. Khambati has helped thousands of Detroit LASIK patients and people from all over the world escape the restrictions of glasses and contacts. In the event that you’re not a candidate for vision correction, we’ll assist you with a contact lens evaluation or a selection of designer and specialty eyewear.