Do your eyes often feel tired or strained after long hours of screen time or intense reading? Symptoms of eye strain include soreness, burning, itching, and watery or dry eyes.
Eye strain is a common issue in today’s digital age, and people of all ages feel the effects. Enhance your comfort with these three practical tips for preventing eye strain.
1. Give Your Eyes a Break With the 20-20-20 Rule
Staring at screens or reading for extended periods can strain your eyes and cause discomfort. According to an overview of digital eye strain research, up to 90 percent of digital device users experience symptoms of eye strain.
Adopt the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds to combat eye strain. This simple practice helps relax your eye muscles, reduce eye fatigue, and prevent digital eye strain. Set a timer or use apps to remind you to take short breaks throughout your work or study sessions.
2. Wear Reading Glasses
Another practical tip for preventing eye strain is to wear reading glasses, also called readers. These are especially helpful if you have presbyopia or difficulty focusing on nearby objects.
Reading glasses magnify close items such as print or a needle and thread. They reduce the effort required to bring an image to focus, preventing eye fatigue. Readers are available over the counter and by prescription.
Customize Your Glasses
Prescription reading glasses correct vision for each eye. You can customize your glasses by deciding if anti-reflective coatings are necessary for your readers. An anti-reflective coating will reduce glare on the lenses.
3. Reduce Glare With Proper Lighting
A well-lit environment is more gentle on your eyes. Avoid working or reading in poorly lit areas or under harsh overhead lighting. Use window dressings, such as adjustable blinds and curtains, to control natural light in the room.
While natural lighting can benefit eye health, you must minimize the glare from natural light sources on your digital device screens. You can position your desk by a window to take advantage of natural light, but avoid having the window directly in front of or behind your screen.
Preventing eye strain protects your eyes and promotes your overall well-being. Take regular breaks, wear reading glasses, and use proper lighting to improve your eye health when reading or looking at a screen.