Due to COVID, are you spending hours staring at your screen? Are your kids spending hours on their electronic devices on on-line school? These daily routines are causing damage to your eyes and I wanted to write this post to discuss what you can do to lessen the strain on your eyes.
One of the biggest problems associated with increased screen time is lack of blinking. In fact, it’s known that we blink half as much as our normal blink rate (approximately 15x a minute) when we use computers and digital devices. Decrease in blinking can cause your eyes to dry out, leading to blurry vision, fluctuations in vision, watering and heavy or tired eyes end of the day.
More screen time and less outdoor time can also harm children’s vision and put them at higher risk for myopia progression. Increase in myopia can lead to serious eye problems in the future, including cataracts, glaucoma and retinal holes/tears or detachments.
What can you do to lessen the damage?
o Follow the 20-20-20 rule - For every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
o Artificial Tears – using over-the-counter artificial tears can help replenish the tears throughout the day. Avoid visine & cleareyes. Preservative-free artificial tears the are the best option. Read these at-home dry eye treatment options here.
o Blinking Exercises – remind yourself to blink more frequently and take complete blinks. Blinking Exercise Handout
o Workstation Ergonomics - Make sure to sit at arm’s length from your computer. Place the screen slightly below your eye level which can help with dry eyes.
o Outdoor Time - Kids should spend at least 90 minutes outdoors to slow progression of nearsightedness.
If you continue to experience eye strain, headaches and dry eyes, make sure to contact your eye doctor to schedule an appointment.