Working from Home? 5 Tips to Reduce Digital Eye Strain

As the Kansas City metro adjusts to the Stay-at-Home order, thousands are now learning to work remotely and transition in-person meetings to a digital setting. While great for continuity of business and relationships, the increased screen time can also lead to negative effects on your vision and eye health. Dr. Jason Stahl, ophthalmologist and refractive surgeon at Durrie Vision, shares a few simple steps to protect your eyes from the effects of digital eye strain, a result of spending significant amounts of time focused on a digital screen at a close to mid-range distance.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

• Blurred vision

• Headaches

• Dry eyes

• Eye fatigue

Tips to Reduce or Avoid Digital Eye Strain

1. Computer position

Position your computer monitor at a slightly downward angle from your eyes and maintain a comfortable working distance – at least 25”, or arm’s length – from the screen. The intensity of the light increases the closer our eyes are to the screen.

2. Adjust brightness and contrast

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “If your screen glows brighter than your surroundings, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your screen brightness to match the level of light around you. Also, try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.” Adjustments may be needed throughout the day to accommodate various light and weather conditions.

3. Reduce glare

Avoid glare from windows and lights when possible. Anti-glare screens can also be used to help reduce glare.

4. Blink!

We typically blink about 15 times every minute. However, studies indicate this can decrease by more than 50% while using computers or other digital devices. Make an effort to blink as often as possible to ensure your eyes get the moisture they need, reducing dry eye

5. Exercise your eyes

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, pause to focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This encourages muscle relaxation within the eyes and reduces fatigue.