Digital Eye Strain
Jan 6, 2022
Person in front of the computer covering her eyes with both hands

Many of us work most of our day looking at a computer screen. Viewing digital screens for long periods of time can make a person’s eyes work harder than usual.

Here are some tips to reduce eye strain:

  • Try to make it a habit to blink more often when looking at a monitor.
  • Take breaks from your screen. During these breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.

Here are some eye exercises to try:

  1. Try following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times. This exercise reduces the risk of your eyes’ focusing ability to “lock up” (a condition called accommodative spasm) after prolonged computer work.
  3. The figure eight. This involves looking at an area of floor that is 8 feet away. Then, a person should slowly move their eyes in a figure eight shape for 30 seconds in one direction, then 30 seconds in the other.
  4. Closed eye movements. Close your eyes. Slowly move the eyes upward, then downward. Repeat three times. Slowly move the eyes to the left, then to the right. Repeat three times.

Your eyes are fragile, so it’s important to take care of them. If you are regularly experiencing eye strain, you may want to reach out to your physician. Consistent or chronic eye strain may be a sign that you have other problems with your eyes. If this is the case, your eye strain will be better treated by fixing the underlying problem instead of practicing relaxation exercises.

Important Note- Adults should have a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years, anyone over the age of 65 should book an appointment annually.