The modern world has its sights fixed on the eyes. In today’s digital era, our eyes are constantly exposed to technologies of all shapes and sizes. At work or at rest, we often keep an eye on multiple screens. We stare at our phones, tablets, and computers on a regular basis.
And in today’s fast-paced world, we’re moving around more than ever before. With all of this activity, we have a very real risk of developing eye problems—from minor damages to serious complications. Most of us are cognizant of these issues, but is there anything can we do about them? The answer is yes, but we also need to know how the right ways to properly protect our vision.
The truth is, some treatments and practices do more harm than good, especially to our eyes. For instance, some drugs that are meant to relieve us from pain are also likely to cause eye damage. Some people have even claimed that certain prescription drugs can cause critical eye issues, including blindness. To find out more about drugs that affect eye health, click here.
This begs the question: with all the information available to us, how can we take care of our eyes? In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best eye care practices at a time when almost everything is viewed through a screen.
Avoid Harsh, Bright Light
Sunlight and fluorescent lights can cause glare when they shine directly on reflective surfaces such as your screen. When using your computer, make sure it is positioned away from sunlight, overhead light, and lamps to avoid the harsh glare that can damage your eyes. It may help to draw your curtains or shades and switch to light fixtures with lower-intensity bulbs.
Tweak Your Screen Settings
Sometimes, making a few changes to your computer settings can make a big difference to your eyes. Consider adjusting your screen brightness, color temperature (i.e., using night light), or color contrast to keep your eyes relaxed while looking at the screen. You may also want to use bigger font sizes (at least 12 pt) to eliminate the need to squint when reading text on your screen.
Keep Your Distance from the Screen
Although being too close to a computer screen won’t lead to permanent damage in most cases, you can still experience discomfort in the way of blurry vision, dry eyes, and eye strain. You can avoid these effects by sitting properly at arm’s length or a distance of 20-25 inches from the screen. For mobile phones, a 30-centimeter distance is a good ballpark estimate.
It may also be a good idea to get a comfortable office chair that supports your back and allows you to sit up straight. Ideally, your office chair should keep your body aligned with your computer screen and prevent you from being too close to the screen—thus avoiding potential eye strain and screen fatigue.
That said, you can also prevent damage from prolonged screen exposure by tilting your screen back. When using your computer, position your screen in a way that allows your eyes to gaze downward. The top of your computer screen must remain at eye level to prevent the need to look up, which causes your eyes to open wider and dry out quicker.
Take Plenty of Breaks
Aside from being good for our mental health, taking frequent breaks can also keep our eyes healthy. Consider abiding by the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet from where you are for 20 seconds at the very least. This will help your eyes relax—and your brain to refocus. Of course, it would also be ideal to get sufficient sleep to give your eyes the rest they deserve.
As obvious as it sounds, you need to remember to blink when looking at a screen. Staring at a screen reduces blink rates by as much as 60 percent, which of course is damaging to the eyes. Blinking keeps your eyes lubricated and reduces the risk of dry eyes, eye strain, and fatigue.
Healthier Eyes for the Digital World
It’s easy to become fixated on screens in today’s digital age. And sometimes, being enamored with technology may drive some of us to disregard the need to protect our eyes. Even though we tend to view the world through our devices, we still need to be mindful of the actions that can hurt our eyes in the long run. Digital screens will inevitably become more ubiquitous, but we don’t have to let them inflict damage and deprive us of good eyesight.