Computers and other digital screens are now everywhere, and most people spend extended time looking at their screens. Unfortunately, this tends to result in digital eye strain. Our eyes weren’t really “meant” to focus on a single screen for long periods, so it’s extremely common for long screen sessions to result in eye pain and other discomfort.

Here are some professional tips for reducing digital eye strain, when you have to look at screens for long periods.

1 – Control the Brightness

Your screen should be about the same brightness as the ambient light where you are. Many devices will now auto-adjust their brightness based on ambient light, which is a useful feature.

When you’re indoors, your room lighting should also be moderate – neither too dim nor too bright. This will reduce eyestrain by limiting how often your iris needs to open or close based on lighting.

2 – Follow the 20/20/20 Rule

For every 20 minutes of screen use, look away from the screen at something which is at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. Focusing on a distant object allows your eyes to rest and relax, almost like stretching after sitting down for a long period.

3 – Take Frequent Breaks

It’s bad for your eyes to stare at a screen for hours on end, even if you’re following the 20/20/20 rule. Generally speaking, you should take a 10-minute break from looking at a screen for every hour you use it. This can significantly reduce eye strain in the long term, especially if you have to spend hours looking at a screen.

4 – Use Warmer Color Temperatures

Most displays can adjust the color grading of the screen. A “warm” color temperature means the colors are shifted towards red, and includes less blue color. Why? Because “cold” blue colors have the highest energy output, and put more strain on your eyes than warmer colors.

Different people can be more or less susceptible to eye strain due to blue light, so play with the color temperature to find a balance that works for you.

5 – Blink More!

People typically don’t blink enough when staring at screens for long periods. Simply blinking more as you work can actually do a lot to reduce eye strain, and prevent dry eyes.

Don’t forget, you can also get digital eye strain from improper lens prescriptions. If it’s been more than a year since your last eye exam, contact Valley Eyecare Center for a checkup