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Is tech taking its toll on your eye health?

12 May 2020

Vision problems related to computers or digital device screens may be an indication of an uncorrected eye problem

  • Prolonged use can sometimes lead to blurred vision, eye fatigue, dry or irritated eyes and headaches
  • We’ve collated our top tips for good eye health

For most of us, screens and devices are now part of our everyday lives - to the point where it’s almost impossible to imagine life without them.

While there is no evidence of long-term eye damage from extended use of smartphones, computer screens or other devices, prolonged use can sometimes lead to blurred vision, eye fatigue, dry or irritated eyes and headaches. Extended screen-time could also aggravate existing eye complaints.

Vision problems related to computers or digital device screens may be an indication of an uncorrected eye problem (for instance, long-sightedness, presbyopia, or astigmatism). If you have followed the preventive tips below and you or your children are still experiencing symptoms, an undetected eye problem may be partially to blame, and you should seek advice from an eye care professional.

Follow our tips for good eye health:

  1. Set up computer screens so they are in the correct position in relation to your eyes. The top of the screen should be in line with eye level and placed about 18-30 inches from where you’re sitting.
  2. Tilt the screen back slightly – about 10 to 15 degrees depending on individual preference. Maintaining this downward angle reduces the stress on eye muscles and also helps prevent glares from ceiling lights.
  3. Dim the surrounding lights, so that the screen is brighter in comparison. Font size and browser settings can also be adjusted for comfort, and likewise glare screens can help reduce eye strain.
  4. Clean your computer screen regularly to avoid static and dust build-up. This can obscure screen clarity and cause eye irritation.
  5. To help prevent or alleviate existing dry eye, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Try lubricating eye drops before using the computer and throughout the day. Your eye care professional can recommend appropriate eye drops and may give you samples.
  6. Take the time to blink when you are looking at the screen. Doing so cleanses the eyes with naturally therapeutic fluids. In addition, follow the 20-20-20 rule by taking a 20-second break to view objects 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
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