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7 tips to help you and your family avoid eyestrain

We all spend too much time looking at a screen, whether it’s for work or just spending time on our phones scrolling through social media. Here are some tips to avoid eyestrain.

Sandrina Rodrigues

Feb 27, 2024, 1:34 PM

Updated 81 days ago

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We all spend too much time looking at a screen, whether it’s for work or just spending time on our phones scrolling through social media.
Symptoms of eye fatigue, or eyestrain, include dry and itchy eyes, blurred vision, headaches or increased sensitivity to light.
Below are some tips to help you and your family avoid eyestrain:

1. THE 20-20-20 RULE

Researchers at Aston University confirm that the 20-20-20 rule helps ease some of the symptoms of prolonged computer use.
The rule is simple - look 20 feet away from your screen, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
The team used special software to track participants' gaze - and their eyestrain - for two weeks, measuring eye symptoms before and after trying out the 20-20-20 rule.

2. ADJUST THE LIGHTNING

When reading, try positioning the light behind you and direct it onto your page. According to the Mayo Clinic, it may be easier on your eyes if you keep the room softly lit when watching television.

3. LIMIT SCREEN TIME

Prolonged periods of time staring at a screen can cause eye fatigue. So it’s a good idea to take a break. This is especially important for children. According to the National Institute for Children's Health Quality, a nonprofit organization in Boston, the effects of increased screen time can be serious for children.

4. ADJUST YOUR SCREEN

Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen so that it feels comfortable to you. It might also be helpful to enlarge the font so it is easier to read.

5. USE ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Chronic dry eye is a condition that occurs when tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for the eyes. The oil glands in the eyelids become clogged and inflamed.
Nonprescription lubricating eye drops work by adding some of the same elements that your tears naturally have. This helps your tear film work more effectively to protect the surface of your eyes, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

6. AIR QUALITY

Some changes to your space may help prevent dry eyes - including using a humidifier, adjusting the thermostat to reduce blowing air and avoiding smoke.

7. STOP USING DEVICES BEFORE BED

The American Academy of Ophthalmology also recommends that you stop using devices before bed. There is evidence that blue light may affect the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle. During the day, blue light wakes us up and stimulates us. So, too much blue light exposure late at night from your phone or other devices may make it harder to get to sleep. Use nighttime settings on devices and computers that minimize blue light exposure.


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