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Mark Jones Eye Care

How to avoid digital eye strain.

Prevent Digital Eye Strain

What can you do to relieve irritated eyes, neck pain or headaches caused by using digital products?

We enjoy spending our free time surfing the Internet, playing computer games or checking out social media, but the fun stops the moment our eyes, head or neck don’t cooperate. Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t designed to constantly look at screens. Here are some reasons why: reading distances are shorter when you use a smartphone or tablet than with print media, and many people find the artificial blue light emitted by these devices bothersome. On top of this, the distances for using screens vary enormously. We hold a smartphone much closer to our face than we would a book, and our eyes must constantly adjust to these different distances.

What can I do? Are there preventative measures?

If you’re using your smartphone or computer for fun, make sure you take a break. Don’t spend too much time surfing the internet, shopping online, playing Pokémon Go or checking out Facebook and YouTube. Not staring at a screen is more difficult at work, because many of us spend most of the day at the computer. But the same rule applies as in your free time: breaks are the best way to give your eyes a rest. We suggest you following the ‘20-20-20 rule‘: look at an object 20 metres away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This allows your eyes to relax and prevents additional problems.

What else can I do?

 When sitting at the computer, we tend to lean forward. This means that we don’t move enough and blink too infrequently. This causes our eyes to dry out, and the tear fluid necessary for healthy eyes is insufficient. One way to prevent dry eyes is to remember to blink. We would suggest putting a post-it note on your screen as a reminder. People often have poor posture when working at the computer. Pay attention to how you sit and, when necessary, correct your posture. It also helps if you stand up, walk around for a moment, and, when you come back to your seat, make sure that you sit upright.