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Digital eye strain occurs due to the increasing amount of time individuals spend on technological screens such as computers and smartphones. This increase in digital screen usage has lead to a rise in a variety of ocular problems, many of which include symptoms related to digital eye strain.
In some cases, digital eye strain may be caused by blue light exposure. The amount of exposure your eyes get from your screens is small when you compare it to the exposure risks of the sun, but nonetheless, consistent exposure to blue light presents its own hazards.
Digital eye strain is most often characterized by tired eyes and/or an inability to focus properly.
Digital eye strain can be prevented and managed with correct posture, proper breaks, and minimizing exposure to blue light.
Use good posture when working on digital devices: when using your phone, be aware of the strain you are putting on your neck and shoulders when looking down. Correct your screen height so the top third of your monitor is level with your eyes, and take regular breaks to stretch. A good office chair can work wonders for back strain and correcting posture and alignment.
Many phones and devices have setting options to filter blue light emitted from the screen. These make a subtle but important difference in display.
There are also glasses available to help filter blue light. If you spend large amounts of time working on a computer or other digital screen, these could be a worthwhile investment for preventing and managing digital eye strain.
A great technique for reducing digital eye strain has been coined the “20-20-20 Rule”: When using a screen for extended periods of time, every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from looking at your screen to focus on something at least 20 feet away.
This technique does a great job of relaxing your eye muscles from being intensely focused on your up-close screen, and is an easy habit to implement – it can be as simple as looking out the window for a minute every half hour.
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