Did you know that nearly 60% of American workers reported that they have experienced symptoms of digital eye strain? With most jobs nowadays requiring the use of screens (whether it be laptops, desktops or phones), finding a method to prevent permanent damage to people’s eyes is more vital than ever.
Eye strain occurs more easily when using screens than reading from paper. This is because, firstly, you blink less when using screens, and blinking prevents the eyes from drying up. Secondly, screens can cause glare. This is when the amount of light entering your eye is too much to manage, which is distracting and uncomfortable.
Here you will learn three ways of mitigating the damaging effects of digital eye strain, all of which can be applied to your everyday life immediately.
1. Adjust your surroundings
Managing the surrounding lights in your home or office can help reduce the amount of light that competes with your screen. Whether it’s artificial or natural light, too much glare can result in your eyes being strained. When indoors, you can dim artificial lights to enhance the devices’ display. This allows you to lower the brightness on your device, which also saves battery if you’re working from a laptop. If your screen is positioned near a large window, you may want to adjust your blinds or curtains.
If viewing a screen outdoors, you should try to avoid competing with sunlight. You can do this by shading the screen with your hand, turn your back on the sun, or anything that keeps sunlight away from the display when you’re trying to view it.
2. Use physical remedies to reduce glare
Glare, as mentioned before, is when the amount of light entering your eye is too much to manage.
It can come from a direct light source, such as a screen or be reflected off walls, finished surfaces, windows and mirrors. There are ways to manage glare, however.
If you wear glasses, you may want to opt for a pair with a protective coating as this is an immediate way to minimise it. Take Designer Glasses’ Tom Ford collection for instance, which offers a range of glasses that have an anti-reflective coating. Specifically, this coating helps to reduce the glare and intensity of the light as it comes through the two surfaces of your lenses.
If you don’t wear glasses, installing an anti-glare screen protector on your display could also be a suitable solution.
3. Adjust your screen position
Adjusting the position of your screen is another way to help prevent eye strain. Your screens should be positioned directly in front of your head, and a little below your eye line. In this position, we have more of a visual field and are able to see more of the screen. It also means you will not be craning your head forwards or backwards, which could cause neck and shoulder pain.
You should also consider the distance between you and the screen, as setting it up too close or too far away can also lead to eye irritation. The optimal distance is around 50cm, about an arm’s length away from your eyes. This will allow you to view it safely without irritation.
The power of sight is precious. Take care of your eyes now, and you will see the long-term effects.